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Thread: Engine 214/ Ladder 111

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2001

    Engine 214 / Ladder 111

    The following brothers from Engine 214 and Ladder 111 in Brooklyn made the supreme sacrifice on September 11th, 2001.

    ENGINE 214

    FF. Carl Bedigian

    FF. John Florio

    FF. Michael Roberts

    FF. Kenneth Watson

    LADDER 111

    LT. Christopher Sullivan

    Engine 214 / Ladder 111
    495 Hancock St

    Please make a prayer for their families.
    Post a poem, picture, or song on this site.
    Memorial shirts to purchase for the families may be available soon.
    Last edited by Chris; 01-02-2002 at 07:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator patries's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Heemskerk (the Netherlands)

    Engine Co. 214 - Fire Apparatus Magazine

    Engine Co. 214

    Nobody pays much attention to them except in an emergency. They call 911 and the public often feels they wait forever for the firefighters to arrive. Usually, in a city, it's two minutes or less before a highly trained crew of five emergency service professionals arrive on scene to do whatever has to be done.

    If it's an EMS call, the first due company will likely have trained EMTs or First Responders aboard, oxygen and a medical kit and sometimes a defibrillator. If it's a fire call that first due company has one objective: life safety. "Is everybody out?" If not, at least two firefighters will immediately head into the burning building to conduct a search, even before the first hose line is pulled.

    Life safety - the public's life safety -is the first priority of every firefighter in every community in the United States.

    Firefighter safety?
    Well, that comes next - after rescue of all occupants who are in danger. In the meantime, firefighters routinely put their lives on the line to go into the ovens of Hell in an attempt to snatch a lost victim, perhaps overcome by smoke, before it is too late.

    It is a routine part of the job; sometimes a miracle save gets attention and sometimes not. Once a year fire departments present medals and honor awards for members who braved extreme hazards without regard for their own safety to attempt a rescue.

    Often just as many other firefighters had some pretty close calls themselves that previous year, but didn't capture the attention of a company officer, a Battalion Chief or a newspaper reporter.

    It's all part of the job; each firefighter takes great personal satisfaction in knowing he performed as trained, under pressure, with his own life at stake, whether recognized by others or not.

    He did his job. And that's all that counts to him (or her) the professional firefighter - career or volunteer.

    Who are these firefighters who love their job so much that many work full time in a metropolitan city yet often volunteer in off-duty hours with their local hometown department?

    Well, you all know them. They're "regular guys," people who are your neighbors, companions on a fishing trip or a golf outing, or someone you meet coaching Little League baseball or at a local youth hockey game.

    Regardless of what your regular occupation may be, or how you became acquainted, you'll soon learn that the firefighter you know is a strong member of the community, a person who cares about others and someone who would loan his last dollar to a friend.

    Shortly after John Florio arrives for his evening shift at the firehouse, he exclaims, "Nothing to eat; what's a matter with you guys? Nobody thought about dinner?

    "Getting some weak answers and feigned excuses, Florio announces, "Well, we're eating Italian. Everybody into the truck, we're going for food."

    Even the company officer doesn't object as the engine pulls out of the firehouse with the whole crew aboard. Everybody likes to eat and eating Italian is special when John Florio is cooking.

    Five firefighters in full turnout gear traipse through the supermarket, loading the cart as Florio directs what to buy. He ranks with everybody else, but tonight he's the Chief - that is, he's the Chef.

    An hour later, the meal is sumptuous - everything from the Caesar salad to the dessert. Three bells - dessert is interrupted for a run. In no time at all the enginemen are out the door followed by the tower ladder which shares the same firehouse - and the same Italian meal.

    Smoke from an electrical fire; nothing big, both companies are back within a few minutes and John Florio is collecting everybody's share of the meal expenses.

    John and his wife Sherri have two kids, a boy, 7, and a daughter.

    Over coffee, Carl Bedigian jokes with members of the truck company.

    Carl always has something to say and is quick on the uptake. Light banter is interrupted by serious talk of retirement plans and 401K's - but many of these guys are only in their 30's?

    More bells, another alarm.

    There's hardly any chance to sleep at this firehouse - five runs since 6 p.m. Most of the men are working a 24-hour shift, but after breakfast a few new faces appear.

    By 10 a.m. the tower ladder has set down its jacks and outriggers in front of the firehouse for drill. Engine Company member Kenny Watson is a quiet, self-assured type, but he and Bedigian are among the few to train with the truck company. Bedigian is up in the basket with the truck guys. Watson is keen on practicing all aspects of operations; someday he may have to operate the turntable in an emergency or maneuver the boom from the basket.

    Ken has a wife Sue and four kids at home - three boys and a girl. His life revolves around the fire department and his family.

    Carl Bedigian was married to Michelle just a year ago; they'll celebrate their first anniversary in September.

    The alarm bells continue during the day, but at a slower pace.

    There's time for more talk about what's in the morning newspaper, how the professional sports teams are doing and a lot of good-natured banter back and forth, especially between the engine crew and the truck company.

    Spend a couple of days in this firehouse and you know why it's nicknamed "The Nut House," complete with cartoons of Mr. Peanut painted on both the truck and the engine.

    Their uniforms even have a special shoulder patch with both company numbers and the legend "The Nut House." These guys really can be crazy at times - and they love it. It could just as well be called the fun house.

    But when the bells go off, it's all business. Most runs are routine, but often at night they'll roll up to a "good job." Perhaps it's a block-long, three-story brick tenement building with a ball of orange blowing out the rear. They know what they have to do and that they'll be in for a long night.

    The job is dangerous; any misstep could be career-ending, but over the years they've learned a lot about fighting fires deep within a building, searching for trappedoccupants, venting and attacking ahead of the fire to cut it off.

    On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Lt. Chris Sullivan who normally is an officer with Tower Ladder 111, is riding the pumper today out of the opposite bay as officer of Engine 214. Sullivan and his wife Delores have two sons.

    A lot of bells started ringing and soon Lt. Sullivan, along with firefighters Mike Roberts, John Florio, Carl Bedigian and Kenny Watson, are headed out the big door, turning toward Lower Manhattan.

    Mike Roberts can see this "job" from a long distance away and knows it's going to be a big one. A really big one, just like his father used to tell him about. His father is a retired firefighter from Ladder 170, also in Brooklyn.

    Without hesitation they race up the stairs of World Trade Center Tower 2, organizing the evacuation on their assigned floor, helping others get out of the building.

    But this is one job that will never end. Their spirits, their laughter, their hopes and dreams for the future are still on that job.

    Five guys from "The Nut House" on Hancock Street in Brooklyn. Five guys who wouldn't have wanted to work anyplace else or be known as anything but Firefighter, FDNY.

    None of the five will ever return to Brooklyn for a firehouse pasta dinner again, but they will never be forgotten.

    The FDNY lost 343 members in the most horrific day in the history of the fire service in America.

    These five who manned Engine 214 that day will forever be remembered as truly among "America's Bravest" in the years ahead. In reality, they were five "regular guys," good men from a corner firehouse.

    These five were among the first to fall in a 21st Century war that has pulled Americans together to face future uncertainty with a deep resolve, united against those who would attack our cities, our people and our police and firefighters. As long as there is an FDNY-as long as there is a fire service in this country-these men will not be forgotten.

    The 343 men of the FDNY who were lost that day in the effort to rescue their fellow man deserve our respect and our gratitude

    Words fail us when we reflect on our friends and brother firefighters of Engine 214.

    We have visited the depths of frustration and felt the pain of helplessness. Wives are now widows and their children are without fathers.

    To these five and to all who fell on September 11, go our blessings, our prayers and our eternal admiration.

  3. #3
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    South West



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2001

    "Our Brothers" painting

    Hanging in a place of Honor at "The Nut House" on Hancock St, Bklyn, is an extraordinary painting of extraordinary men who sacrificed their lives for us.

    These men shared their lives and were loved by my brother Greg (L111), wife Rosie and sons Vincent and Joseph. A friend of Vinny referenced individual photos to compose the brothers in memoriam just as they had been together in their final sacrifice.

    My love and respect to the men of E214/L111, both living and sacrificed, and to their families. Thank you Roseanne, for sharing this with me, and in turn, with our audience.

    "Our Brothers"
    From L to R: FF Michael Roberts, Lt. Christopher Sullivan, FF Carl Bedigan, FF Kenny Watson, FF John Florio.

    Painting by Lindsey Keeney.
    Painting photographed by Richard Becker.

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