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Thread: FDNY's Hardy Hero

  1. #1
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002

    FDNY's Hardy Hero



    February 18, 2005 -- One of the hero firefighters injured in the Fire Department's worst day since 9/11 will be released from St. Barnabas Hospital today.

    Jeffrey Cool of Rescue Co. 3 was one of six firefighters forced to jump from a fourth-story apartment after the group was trapped above the fire.

    Cool, 37, is very upbeat and "looking forward to drinking his first beer," said Capt. Christopher King, who also worked the deadly Jan. 23 fire.

    "He's a real tough guy. A couple of days ago he took a major turn for the better.

    "He saw his son, Jeff Jr., [who is 7] the other day, and that really lifted his spirits. And his wife, Jill, has been a Rock of Gibraltar. She has really been terrific through all this."

    Cool faces a long road to rehabilitation.

    He'll be transferred this morning to the Helen Hayes Hospital in West Haverstraw in Rockland County, where he'll continue to be treated for his very severe injuries.

    "Jeff is looking forward to going into rehab at Helen Hayes and getting back on his feet," said King, who returned to work yesterday after suffering smoke inhalation in the fire that injured Cool.

    "All the guys at Rescue 3 are really up over Jeff's recovery."

    Two of Cool's co-workers died in the Bronx blaze

  2. #2
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002

    Fireman hurt in Bx. blaze to leave hospital

    Fireman hurt in Bx. blaze to leave hosp


    A member of New York's Bravest who escaped a burning Bronx building last month with a desperate, four-story leap that killed two firefighters is expected to leave the hospital today.

    Jeffrey Cool, 37, who was critically injured in the Jan. 23 fire, has healed enough to be released from St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, FDNY officials said yesterday.

    He'll get a hero's salute as he leaves the hospital and enters the Helen Hayes rehab center in West Haverstraw, N.Y., officials said.

    A rope helped save Cool and Firefighter Joseph DiBernardo Jr., 34, by shortening the horrific 50-foot plunge by 10 feet.

    "We're just extremely happy to hear that Jeff's moving on, because for a while there things were touch and go with him," said John Cawley, whose son, firefighter Brendan Cawley, 31, was injured with Cool and taken to the same trauma center.

    Both families found support in one another, said Cawley, whose son limped out of St. Barnabas on Jan. 29 to loud cheers from fellow firefighters.

    "It's great news to hear Jeff is getting along better," the elder Cawley said. "He's got a long road ahead of him because he had really severe injuries."

    FDNY Lt. Curtis Meyran, 46, and firefighter John Bellew, 37, were killed when they plummeted to the frozen rear courtyard of the flame-engulfed Tremont building last month.

    DiBernardo is in stable condition at Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan, a hospital spokeswoman said.

    The fourth firefighter critically injured that day, Eugene Stolowski, 33, whose wife, Brigid, is pregnant with twins, remained in critical condition yesterday at Weill Cornell.

    This month, FDNY Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta announced the FDNY would again issue 40-foot lengths of rope to all firefighters - a practice that had been halted in 2000.

    Originally published on February 18, 2005

  3. #3
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002

    'Thank you all for my hubby'

    'Thank you all for my hubby'


    His eyes were drawn, his face bruised, his body broken, but Bronx Firefighter Jeffrey Cool took the biggest step yesterday in his miraculous recovery from a fire that killed two of his comrades.

    Smiling from under an FDNY Rescue 3 cap, Cool was carried out of a Bronx hospital to the joyous cheers of his wife, two young sons and more than 100 of the city's Bravest, including another survivor of the deadly Jan. 23 blaze.

    "Today is a great day," said his wife, Jill, standing before the swarm of firefighters at St. Barnabas Hospital.

    "I want to thank everyone for giving me my husband back."

    "I told him that I love him and missed him a lot," said Cool's son, also Jeff. "He said he misses me and he's glad he's coming home."

    Propped up on a gurney and covered in a blanket, Cool was wheeled out of the same hospital doors he had been rolled through last month, when his survival was far from a sure thing.

    "There's no question that this is something of a miracle," said Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta.

    "I saw Jeff come in on the 23rd and not many people thought he'd make it through the night, let alone come out of the hospital a few weeks later."

    Cool shattered his pelvis and suffered massive internal injuries when he and five other firefighters took a desperate, four-story plunge from a burning building in Tremont.

    Two of the Bravest, Lt. Curtis Meyran, 46, and Firefighter John Bellew, 37, were killed in the leap. The four surviving firefighters were rushed to hospitals in critical condition.

    Firefighter Brendan Cawley, 31, was cheered when he limped out of St. Barnabas Hospital on Jan. 29. Yesterday, Cawley stood outside the same hospital and applauded Cool.

    He was hopeful he and his comrades will gather again soon for the release of Firefighters Joseph DiBernardo and Eugene Stolowski, who also survived the jump from 236 E. 178th St.

    "They're next," said a teary-eyed Cawley.

    Cool faces a long recovery at Helen Hayes Hospital, a rehabilitation center in Rockland County near his home.

    "He wants to get strong and live the rest of his life," his wife said.

    Cool had hovered near death during much of his nearly month-long stay at St. Barnabas, but made a remarkable recovery during the last week, when his sons visited him for the first time since the fire.

    "It's been an experience," Jill Cool said, shaking her head. "But it turned out very well."

    Her 37-year-old husband and DiBernardo survived the plunge in large part because they used Cool's personal rope to reduce their fall by about 10 feet.

    Firefighters used to carry ropes, but the FDNY stopped issuing them in 2000 because they were considered cumbersome.

    In the wake of the Bronx tragedy, Scoppetta vowed to get all firefighters safety ropes again.

    "No firefighter should ever be put in the position to make the impossible choice Jeff had to make because he didn't have the right equipment," he said yesterday.

    Cool's rope granted him a fighting chance. His battle begins anew at the rehab center, where flowers, balloons and love greeted him.

    Beside a drawing of a firefighter was a sign that read: "Welcome home Jeff Cool."

    Originally published on February 19, 2005

    Firefighter Jeffrey Cool leaves hospital with his wife, Jill.

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