As Watkins Street readied for another Saturday night in Brownsville, we were reminded once again that the bonds of friendship created during the course of a career in the FDNY will last a lifetime. DAC Jack Mooney, the Citywide Tour Commander for the night, took a ride over to Watkins Street to pay a visit to an old friend and present a special photo. He was accompanied by FDNY Chief of Training AC Tom Galvin, (former Bn44 Commander). On September 2, 1978, three friends (who had stormed the halls of Bishop Reilly High School together) found themselves reunited after four years of college. The location was the steps of City Hall as Bobby Higgins, Jack Mooney, and John Maloney took the oath of office becoming Probationary Firefighters in the FDNY, a class which was "Top of the List" and today has only 12 active members left including AC Tobin, AC Spadafora, DC Jakubowski, DC Nichols, BC Maier, BC Naglieri, BC Turner, Lt O'Day, Lt Harris, and FF Donovan (D-15). As Chief Mooney prepared to present a framed copy of the photo to Captain Higgins, the 3rd member of the Proby School carpool trio (John Maloney) then walked into quarters (to an absolutely stunned Captain Higgins)!..... The reunion was on.....The trio has come a long way since 1978. John Maloney went on to work in E214/L111 as a FF before being promoted to Lt in 1986, assigned to the old 5th Division in Harlem. Jack Mooney would rise to the rank of DAC (Chief of the Fire Academy). Bobby Higgins became the "hand picked" successor of legendary E231 Captain Joe Coniglio - a company which has only had 2 Captains for the past 28 years! The memorable evening allowed Watkins Street members to be privy to countless stories of when "they" were young OTJ, like us. It was a subtle reminder that being a member of this Department is much more than just getting on the rig and heading out the door.
September 2, 1978 - Where It All Began
April 12, 2014 - 36 Years Later, A Story
Chief of Safety Stephen Raynis Presents
Captain Higgins With FDNY Safe Driving
Congratulations to the Officers & Members of E231 who received the FDNY "Safe Driving Award in recognition of achieving an accident free record responding to over 10,000 Alarms. FDNY Assistant Chief Steve Raynis (Chief of Safety) stopped by quarters to present the award to Captain Higgins and to thank the Officers, ECC's, and members of E231 for maintaining such a high level of professionalism and commitment to overall safety.
Craig Goldsberry Comes Home To Watkins
Street To Say Thanks To A Friend
Captain Higgins, the longtime respected Commander of E231 has begun his farewell tour. Although he would prefer to simply remove his gear from the rig at 1800 hours next week, hand the Riding List to his relieving Officer, and quietly thank his men...unfortunately, when you've touched so many lives in one singular neighborhood and impacted so many careers, such a goodbye would be near impossible in the FDNY. The NY Daily News recently caught up with our Captain as he was able to spend one last tour with an old friend.http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/retiring-firefighter-father-figure-b-klyn-neighborhood-article-1.1747788
One of the greatest leaders in FDNY history was honored by the U.S. Air Force during a poignant ceremony at the FDNY Fire Academy this past week. A tremendous sense of pride and patriotism resonated as a recorded message from a high ranking Air Force General was shown on the big screen. The General explained in great detail how images of the FDNY response on 9/11 played such a significant role inspiring our military. When given his marching orders, the General responded, "I will not shreik from this duty - in fact, I welcome it!" Chief of Department Peter Ganci and all FDNY members under his Command that infamous day were cut from the same cloth. A military base located just outside of Afghanistan (scheduled to close in July) was informally known as "Ganci Air Base" and for many years provided a sense of comfort and purpose to those who defend us. In a moving speech, Commissioner Cassano noted, "this ceremony speaks to the unbreakable bond between the FDNY and members of our military" as we were reminded of the symbolic photo of a firefighter on the pile handing our flag to a soldier who then says, "We'll take it from here". Master Sergeant Charles Morris ceremoniously "returned" FDNY artifacts and memorabilia which adorned the base for well over a decade and presented Commisioner Cassano and Chief Kilduff a photo of the soldier now giving the flag "back to the firefighter". Fittingly to close the ceremony, Lt Chris Ganci then addressed the future of the FDNY (our probationary firefighters who stood at attention the entire time). He told them his dad enjoyed speaking to the probies more than anything else. His message was, is, and ALWAYS will be the same - "You'll never be rich, but you'll always be happy because your a firefighter."* Note: Chief Ganci was awarded the BC Frank Tuttlemondo Medal in 1983http://www.nyc.gov/html/fdny/html/events/2014/040314a.shtml
U.S. Air Force Honors Chief Ganci
Captain John Calamari L120
Attention: All current & former members of Watkins St - AND members of the FDNY Please join the Officers & Members of Watkins Street for a memorable night of fun (and perhaps even a quote or two) as we raise a glass in celebration of the retirement of our friend and Captain, John Calamari (L120) following 36 years of dedicated service to New York City and to "The Brothers". The party will be held on April 24th (4pm - 9pm) at: Connolly's Corner71-17 Grand AveMaspeth, Queens 11378http://connollyscorner.com/ The current members of Watkins Street wish to thank Captain JC for both imparting wisdom on the fire floor and for demanding that we never lose sight of those who came before us. "The Tradition Continues...* Please pass this along to anyone you know who may have worked with JC
Watkins St - 1930's with FF Michael J.
Roberti, assigned to E231 in 1934
We were recently contacted by the granddaughter of a Watkins Street member from the 1930's (FF Michael J. Roberti who was assigned to E231 in 1934). Hello,I am sending you this fabulous photo from the 1930s of your firefighters. My grandfather, Michael J. Roberti, is behind the wheel. It's a gorgeous photo - very clear and vibrant. I thought your station might like to have a copy. My grandfather is on your Lifetime Roll Call. If you're able to identify any others in the photo, our family would be very interested. Thank you!Jacky Abromitis 87 year old Ret FF Seymore Schenker informs us that the fella on the top left with the 120 helmet is FF Nick Baudo. If anyone is aware of who these other people are, please contact our website. Thank you.
We would like to congratulate the following members upon their recent promotion to the rank of Lieutenant:FF Chris PisaniFF James BlowFF Ahmad McIntoshFF Charlie MastersonCongratulations to these four terrific Watkins Street firefighters. Each of them will be an asset to their future companies. As the late great Tom Cleary used to say, "Well done lads". "The Tradition Continues...
Forever In Our Hearts
Captain Daniel J. Tracy was laid to rest on Saturday in a fitting
sendoff which celebrated a wonderful life. The priest who gave the homily
summed it up best when he said, "the best way to honor Dan Tracy is
not to admire his press clippings or medals of valor, but instead to simply
just go out and do something nice for someone - just as Dan would do."
Tracy's achievements are now the stuff of legend but it was his character which embodied the
very best of what FDNY members represent.
Family has asked if we could please express their sincere gratitude to the
entire FDNY for their outpouring of support. At the wake, Dan Tracy Jr. stated
during his euulogy, "We always knew how much our dad loved the Fire
Department BUT after the past week, we now know how much the Fire Department
loved our dad."
& Members of Bradford Street, Tillery Street, and Watkins Street would also
like to send a tip of the cap to the Ceremonial Unit, Fire Family Transport,
and the many people working behind the scenes at FDNY Headquarters who
basically "stopped what they were doing" and made the funeral for
Captain Tracy a high priority..."The best way to honor Dan Tracy is
to simply go out and do something nice for someone"
Tradition Continues... http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/woman-dad-saved-fdny-daniel-tracy-baby-thanks-hero-son-article-1.1598967
FF Michael Carroll L120 Honored At 10th
Annual "Honor Roll Of Life" Ceremony
Firefighter Mike Carroll (L120) and other members of the Department were recently honored by FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano and Chief of Department Edward Kilduff for their participation in the 10th Annual Honor Roll of Life Ceremony at Headquarters. FF Carroll was notified earlier this year that he was a perfect match to undergo a Bone Marrow Transplant procedure in the hope of saving a stranger's life. Mike immediately underwent testing and preparation before becoming one of the 134 donors in Department history. “FDNY’s Firefighters are New York City’s single greatest source of bone marrow donors,” said President and CEO of NYBC Dr. Christopher D. Hillyer. “For seven years, it has been our honor to recognize their partnership in saving the lives of our patients.”Watkins Street would like to express our sincere congratulations to both Mike and all members of the FDNY who participate in such a wonderful program. Well done Mike!"The Tradition Continues...For a list of NYBC blood drives and donor center locations in NY and NJ, please visitwww.nybloodcenter.org and click on the “Locate a Blood Drive” link or call 1-800-933-2566.
Watkins Street sadly announces the passing of an All-Time Great - Mr. Dan Tracy. Watkins Street sadly announces the passing of an All-Time Great - Mr. Dan Tracy. Captain Dan Tracy represented the very best of the FDNY. He retired as one the most decorated firefighters in the history of The Job, and a man whose humble demeanor is synonymous with the definition of that of a New York City Firefighter. Life is a journey, one that is full of gifts. Every once in a while during this journey we are blessed to be in the presence of a special person whose actions inspire us (to be just a little bit better). When you come across a person such as this – it is a gift. The Good Lord bestowed such a gift upon Watkins Street in the form of Dan Tracy. Dan was a three-time FDNY Medal Day Winner, had numerous citations for heroism and bravery,was front page of the Daily News, a Charter Member of L175 as a Lt, was a 3 time Daily News “Hero of the Month”,saw a massive billboard with his likeness hung over the “cut” at Broadway Junction for several years, received a personal letter of commendation from Senator Robert F. Kennedy just months before his assassination, saw the establishment of the 4 year “Fireman Daniel J. Tracy Scholarship” at St. Johns University (which continues to this day), won the Journal American Award, and was part of the select group of officers who helped author “Ladders 3” which was the literary start of all official FDNY Firefighting Procedures – and a document that Captain Higgins calls, “The Bible”. Dan Tracy was an iconic figure and will remain a pillar of Watkins Street and will be remembered as a man who has established a bar of excellence which all of us will strive to uphold for eternity. Dan Tracy, was the epitome of a gentleman and a guy whose radiant personality just made you feel good after being around him.Dan asked us to please convey to all that he was prepared for this final chapter and was well aware of the outpouring of support directed towards his family. We brought him a Watkins Street patch just 3 days ago....and the first thing he asked us about was the "fire duty". He clutched OUR patch on his chest for the duration of our visit, he told us 2 funny stories about Seymore, he spoke with reverence about the fellas he had the pleasure to work with, he told us about a couple of “interesting” characters from the old neighborhood, …and his eyes teared up when he spoke about his beloved Watkins Street.... He kept thanking the current members for keeping the Tradition alive, and then he talked about Howie Carlson and then about a guy named Ed Casson.…his eyes lit up when we discussed the 120 Centennial, and he became very serious (showing immense pride) when he told his daughter what the horns on the rig represent ever since they were adorned in 1968…. Then quietly, Dan smiled and asked us to please just let everyone know, "I'm really doing ok.”Dan Tracy, is a Watkins Street Icon."The Tradition Continues...
Dan Tracy, Legendary Member Of Watkins
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