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NY Post Article on Fallen FDNY Lt and FF

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  • NY Post Article on Fallen FDNY Lt and FF

    I didn't want any discussion on this to interfere with the condolences and well wishes in the Bronx thread so I am posting it here. Well written article in my opinion.

    by Steve Dunleavy

    August 29, 2006 -- ON SUNDAY morning, you may have been worried about how good the coffee was, had the dog been fed and, dammit, it was raining, so it was no good for golf.
    You didn't have a clue about Michael Reilly.

    Then on Monday, you heard about a 25-year-old kid who sacrificed his life in a crappy little building in The Bronx, along with Lt. Howard Carpluk, and you said, "What a shame."

    You'll read about the funerals and say, "What a shame" - then check the weekend weather to see if it will be good for golf.

    Aren't we a bunch of self-indulgent wimps? We don't notice when men like Reilly go off to Iraq to save our sorry butts and come back to the streets of New York City to protect our sorry butts - along with a veteran lieutenant named Carpluk.

    The battles - whether in Iraq or on the streets of New York - are now over for those real-life John Waynes in a time when the word "hero" is thrown around far too loosely.

    Probie Mike Reilly started as a teen in the Ramsey volunteer rescue squad in New Jersey. His former boss, Eric Endress, said, "I think it was just in his blood."

    I've known so many cops and firefighters where the job was "just in his blood." I've gone to too many funerals after their blood was spilled.

    After the funerals, can I ask of anyone who's reading this: Please put aside one hour, just one hour, to think of what these guys in the FDNY do every day.

    I only ask for one hour - call me at The Post to say you'll do it.

    Mike, I never met you, but somehow I think I know you and that good lieutenant - along with the rest of those dedicated and beautiful maniacs who look after all our sorry butts.

    Please, after the funerals of both these wonderful men, just take an hour and forget whether it's gonna be a good golf weekend or your boyfriend's gonna take you to the Hamptons or whatever.

    Think of these men - and say thank you.

    Never Forget 9-11-2001

    Stay safe out there!

    IACOJ Member

  • #2
    Another Article

    Michael Daly column - 8/29/06

    Last plea: Save the new guy

    The rescuers breached the wall of the cellar behind the burning building, and a firefighter was tunneling into the debris when he felt a tug on his pant leg.
    By several accounts, the firefighter had worked his way into a small void and had been trying to wiggle past a huge storage cabinet. He eased around and saw that the tug had come from one of his trapped comrades. "I'm here," the trapped firefighter mumbled.

    The firefighter asked his trapped comrade's name and company. The trapped man was clearly in great physical distress, but he managed to say he was Lt. Howard Carpluk and he was working that day with Engine 75.

    Then, his words labored, his life being squeezed out of him, Carpluk spoke not of himself but of the young comrade who was foremost in his mind.

    "My nozzle man's under me."

    He was telling his rescuers to save his probie, probationary Firefighter Michael Reilly, who had entered FDNY Academy only four months ago. Carpluk was the consummate fire officer, and he had been right beside Reilly as they advanced on the fire in the 99-cent store on Walton Ave., the new man on the nozzle, the officer guiding and watching over him.

    "The probie is supposed to be on the nozzle because he has to learn," a firefighter said later. "The officer has to be right next to him, encouraging him. If you were a new kid on the job, you wanted Howie right next to you. Howie was The Guy."

    But as the late, great Fire Chief Ray Downey always used to say, the unexpected can prove the mortal enemy of even the best firefighter. The floor suddenly shifted to the left and to the right and collapsed before there was time to react.

    In a terrible instant, Carpluk suddenly found himself pinned atop the probie he had been watching over. His comrades now did everything they could to save them both.

    Fire companies have their rivalries, but in moments such as this they work as one magnificent team. Rescuers were already busy freeing three other trapped firefighters from a section of the store that had been stocked with detergents and beauty products that combined with the hose water. The slippery film made it hellishly difficult to pull away that debris.

    "You couldn't grip anything," a firefighter later said.

    Carpluk and Reilly had apparently been in the grocery aisle, so there was no bedeviling soap. But they were more seriously pinned than the others, and there was no room to use tools bigger than a battery-powered saw. Most of the work had to be done by hand.

    At one point the fire above them began to flare, but an engine company stood ready to douse the flames as the rescue effort continued. The rescuers had managed to get an air mask on Carpluk, but he began to fade. He had ceased talking when his comrades were finally able to free him.

    Reilly was indeed under him and was beyond saving. He had served as a Marine in Iraq and had survived that, only to die at a fire in a 99-cent store in the Bronx.

    But in their very effort to save him and his officer, the firefighters had demonstrated just how right Reilly had been to dream of serving with the FDNY. Our firefighters are in truth a family, and the grief that was in the faces of the survivors yesterday was born of love.

    At midday, firefighters hung black and purple bunting outside the quarters of Engine 75, Ladder 33. The firehouse was dedicated in 2000, and Fire Chaplain Mychal Judge gave the blessing. Judge had counseled enough members of the department to know they are as human as anybody else.

    "Ah, but then the alarm comes in," Judge said. "And then comes the grace."

    Judge meant the sanctifying grace that comes when firefighters rush into the most mortal danger on behalf of strangers. He demonstrated his own grace 14 months later, when he perished at the World Trade Center.

    For a time after 9/11, firefighters were honored as the heroes they do indeed become when the alarm sounds. A few of them proved to have distinctly human failings, and we overlooked Judge's teaching that their very humanness only makes their grace more remarkable.

    The firefighters had never put themselves on pedestals. They put themselves on fire rigs, and one carried Carpluk and Reilly to a fire on Walton Ave. on Sunday. They advanced toward the flames on the chance that somebody needed saving.

    In one bit of good fortune, a sudden, not entirely explicable foreboding prompted an officer to order 10 firefighters off the roof three minutes before the collapse. The lucky ones immediately joined the effort to save their trapped brothers.

    Yesterday, rescuers who had taken more than enough smoke and battering to have called in sick were back on duty, ready to respond to the next alarm. Investigators were theorizing the collapse at the 99-cent store might have been due to shoddy reconstruction after a fire there in 2000, shortly before Judge blessed that new firehouse.

    But whatever the truth of the fire, we approach the fifth anniversary of 9/11 with incontrovertible proof that the spirit of the FDNY is as strong as ever. We need only consider the officer whose dying thought was of a probie who perished living a dream in perfect grace.

    Originally published on August 29, 2006
    Proud East Coast Traditionalist.


    • #3
      While it isn't an article....it's still on topic

      This is a poem that I saw posted on another site. Powerful words.

      Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free;
      I'm following the path God laid for me.
      I took His hand when I heard Him call,
      I turned my back and I left it all.
      I could not stay another day
      To laugh, to love, to work, or play.
      Tasks left undone must stay that way.
      I found that place at the close of day.
      If my parting has left a void,
      Then fill it with remembered joy
      A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss
      Ah, yes, these things I, too, will miss.
      Be not burdened with times of sorrow;
      I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
      My life's been full; I savored much
      Good friends, good times, a loved one's touch.
      Perhaps my time seemed all too brief;
      Don't lengthen it now with undue grief.
      Lift up your heart and share with me
      God wanted me now; He set me free.

      Never Forget 9-11-2001

      Stay safe out there!

      IACOJ Member


      • #4
        i read that

        Hey smokey, i read the post's article and i thought it was really good, kinda made you get goosebumps when reading it.RIP Fallen Brothers


        • #5
          AP Story

          By PAT MILTON
          Associated Press Writer
          NEW YORK (AP) - Rookie firefighter Karim Washington worked hard
          to keep his wits about him as he rushed to the blaze at a Bronx
          discount store.
          On the rig racing toward the fire Sunday, Washington knew this
          one was not going to be just another false alarm. He heard the
          dispatcher broadcast over the radio, "Code 75," or firefighter
          lingo for a working structural fire.
          The 24-year-old checked his gear to make sure he had everything.
          He felt ready for his fifth big fire in eight months.
          What happened next will stay with him forever.
          Lt. Howard Carpluk, his boss and mentor since being assigned to
          Engine Co. 42, was killed in the fire. Fellow probationary
          firefighter Michael Reilly, 25, also was killed on what was the
          deadliest day for the New York Fire Department since last year's
          "Black Sunday."
          "This will be a fire that will stay with me for the rest of my
          life," Washington told The Associated Press, standing in the dimly
          lit firehouse Tuesday. Carpluk's black fireman's coat was hanging
          from a pipe on the ceiling.
          "He impacted me more than any one ever did," Washington said.
          "He took me under his wing, taught me about being a firefighter
          and about the brotherhood of the firehouse."
          Washington says when they pulled up in the truck to the fire,
          heavy smoke was spewing from the discount store.
          Firefighters began smashing the front windows to open the fire
          up. The flames were raging, growing higher and more intense.
          Firemen from the Engine Co. 75, the first responders, were
          already deep inside, knocking down the fire.
          Carpluk, who was attached with Engine Co. 75 just for Sunday,
          was in the middle of the store with a hose and nozzle as he, Reilly
          and others sprayed water on the fire.
          Washington and others were ordered to the adjacent store to
          prevent the fire from spreading.
          "There was zero visibility," Washington said. "I was a little
          nervous. I had to keep my wits about me. There is no yelling.
          Everyone is pretty much on the same page, everyone giving 110
          The firemen were wearing protective face masks with compressed
          air in cylinders that were strapped to their backs. The
          firefighters rotated their positions on the heavy fire hose as they
          tried to knock down the inferno.
          "They kept rotating on the hoses, pushing in, pushing in,
          pushing in," he said.
          Then the floor violently crashed into the basement, plunging
          Carpluk, Reilly and three others into a pile of rubble.
          "Everyone wanted to stop what they were doing to run to get
          those guys out."
          A specially trained unit made an aggressive entry to try to
          rescue the trapped firefighters. The three others were injured and
          in stable condition.
          "This is a crippling loss for us," said Lt. Steven Wall of the
          Engine Co. 42. "A smile will always come to mind when I think of
          Howie Carpluk."
          "He was so devoted to his family and never stopped helping
          people," Wall said. His fellow firefighters set up a Lt. Howie
          Carpluk Memorial Fund to help his wife and two children.
          Washington said he is grateful to have had a chance to work with
          Carpluk. Just two days earlier, he and Carpluk went out on two
          calls that turned out to be false alarms.
          After the calls, Carpluk made dinner for his comrades back at
          the firehouse.
          "I hope I can be at least half the man that he was,"
          Washington said. "I know Lt. Carpluk is watching over all of us
          now. I am going to push on and be as aggressive and energetic as he
          was on the job. That is what he wants me to do."

          (Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
          Last edited by NJFFSA16; 08-30-2006, 01:17 AM. Reason: SigOut
          Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
          Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

          *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
          On the web at www.section2wildfire.com


          • #6
            Newsday Article-Lt. Howard Carpluk

            Lieutenant ‘was like an angel on earth’

            BY JOSEPH MALLIA
            Newsday Staff Writer

            August 29, 2006

            Lt. Howard Carpluk was mourned yesterday by family and friends, by fellow firefighters, and by children who live and play near the Bronx firehouse where the decorated 20-year veteran was stationed, not far from the site of the Sunday afternoon fire where he suffered fatal injuries.

            "He was like an angel on earth," Felix Jimenez, 11, said yesterday, standing outside the Engine 42 firehouse on Monroe Avenue, where well-wishers placed a memorial of votive candles and yellow roses.

            The family of Carpluk, 43, of Yaphank, gathered in grief at the home he shared with his wife, Debra, son Bradley, 14, and daughter, Paige, 10.

            Carpluk was the lieutenant who invited neighborhood kids to slide down the brass pole in the firehouse and took them for rides on fire trucks. He was the one who joined in their street games and threw an excellent curveball.

            "You used to think it was in the middle, like right there ... but really, it was down low," Jimenez said. He also helped keep Monroe Avenue safe, responding when there was an accident or a violent incident, other neighbors said.

            At the Engine 42 station house and at firehouses across the city, flags were lowered to half staff in tribute to Carpluk and firefighter Michael Reilly, 25, who was assigned to Engine 75 in the Bronx. Both died of injuries they suffered when the floor of a discount store at 1575 Walton Ave., in the Mount Eden section, collapsed beneath them. Reilly died Sunday; Carpluk died yesterday at Montefiore Medical Center.

            "Today, New York City has lost another one of its bravest," Mayor Bloomberg said in a statement yesterday.

            Carpluk was awarded two citations for bravery, including one for a heroic rescue on March 30, 1988, when he retrieved two unconscious men from a blazing Bronx apartment, the mayor's office said. He began his career at Ladder Company 31 in the Bronx and was promoted to lieutenant on Feb. 6, 1999.

            "When I met with the men of the Engine 42 this morning, they told me how the lieutenant faced each and every challenge before him bravely and unflinchingly," Bloomberg said.

            Carpluk's relatives described him as a hero of 9/11 for risking his life and health to save World Trade Center victims on the day of the terrorist attacks.

            Kay Fisher, his mother-in-law, recalled that on Sept. 11 he was driving to Vermont to help work on a friend's house. But when he heard the first plane had struck the trade center, he sped to Manhattan and joined the rescue effort, she said.

            "He turned right around and went right into the thick of it," she said, soon after she arrived yesterday at the Carpluks' home. "He's a wonderful person. He'd give the shirt off his back to you. He loves his job."

            Friends said he was a fine athlete, a loving family man and a concerned neighborhood activist who fought a Suffolk County decision to reopen a nearby shooting range on July 15, saying it caused lead pollution and unacceptable noise levels. Carpluk grew up on Union Boulevard in East Islip, said childhood neighbor Melissa Tropeano, who graduated with him in 1980 from East Islip High School.

            A family friend, Johan McConnell, said Carpluk was devoted to his children, coaching their sports teams and attending games. "He was only 43, very young," McConnell said. "He was a very gung-ho kind of guy. I can see him running into the building" to fight the fire on Sunday, she said.

            Sal Ciampi, Carpluk's football and baseball coach at East Islip High School, said he was a starting quarterback and outfielder. "He was just a tremendous young man. An unbelievable team man."

            This story was reported by staff writers CHRISTINE ARMARIO, JOSEPH MALLIA and LUIS PEREZ and contributor T.W. FARNAM.
            Last edited by NJFFSA16; 08-30-2006, 02:55 AM. Reason: sigout
            Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
            Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

            *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
            On the web at www.section2wildfire.com


            • #7
              like what nysmokey posted, this is a poem i saw on another site....this one made my eyes water reading this.....

              Faith Among Brothers
              They both grew up as buddies, so close throughout the years,
              Even fought a war together; to return amid the cheers.
              Each settled down and married, two girls from high school days,
              And families soon developed, with loving kids to raise.
              Though neither was related, one would never know,
              The kids would always holler: "Hi, uncle Billy;" "Hi, uncle Joe."
              Firefighting beckoned, and they joined God's Chosen few,
              As their fathers did before them, it was like a dream come true.
              They each were pulling duty, when the box came in at ten,
              A call for all equipment, and just as many men.
              Arriving at the scene, the blaze was out of hand,
              Flames shot from every window, and Bill took full command.
              He reached the roof by ladder, with a hose line in tow,
              When the structure fell from under, dropping him below.
              Joe ran through the rubble; carried out his fallen mate,
              The Chief said sadly later, "I'm sorry, it was too late."
              "I wasn't too late, sir, though Bill's life had but seconds to run,
              For in those final moments, he managed to say..."I knew you'd come."
              Poem by Foley
              First in, Last out, nobody left behind.....


              • #8
                edited for content
                Last edited by jlcooke3; 09-01-2006, 12:26 AM.


                • #9
                  NY DAILY NEWS article by MICHAEL DALY

                  Paid with their lives for a hero's pittance

                  The woman at Human Resources for the town of Stratford, Conn., was as stunned as she should have been on hearing Michael Reilly's starting pay when he left the fire department there for the FDNY.
                  "Twenty-five in New York? Oh, my God!" she said.

                  To be exact, Reilly's starting pay with the FDNY was $25,100. His starting pay in Stratford had been $44,512, which means he took a 43% pay cut to become a New York City firefighter.

                  "I don't know what made him do it," the woman said.

                  She then understood that these numbers constituted mathematical proof of Reilly's spirit and dedication.

                  "He was a true firefighter, I guess," she said.

                  Reilly's salary had risen to $32,700 when he graduated from the FDNY academy a month ago, but he was still earning almost $12,000 less than the starting pay in Stratford.

                  Not that he was complaining. He was a young man living a dream beyond the measure of money when he stepped off a fire rig outside a burning 99-cent store in the Bronx on Sunday.

                  Later, those close to Reilly would say he had been deeply moved by the heroism at the World Trade Center. Reilly had made it known in December of 2001 that he was taking the test to become a New York City firefighter.

                  In the meantime, Reilly joined the Stratford Fire Department. He also joined the Marine Reserves and was called to active duty in 2004. He survived a tour in Iraq and could have just continued along with the Stratford department.

                  Then he was finally called by the FDNY. He did not seem to give the starting pay so much as a thought. He was joining the department whose heroism at the twin towers had so inspired him.

                  Reilly was assigned to Engine Co. 75, which shares quarters with Ladder 33 in the Bronx. A sign had been affixed to the front of the building in tribute to a firefighter from that house named Michael Kentner, who had been called to active duty with the Army.

                  "Engine 75 and Ladder 33 support and honor Michael Kentner ... as he serves our country in Iraq."

                  As Reilly lived his dream, two fellow Marine reservists from New York were killed by a sniper in Fallujah. Capt. John McKenna was from Brooklyn. Lance Cpl. Michael Glover came from Queens and was the nephew of Fire Chief Peter Hayden, who commanded the rescue operation in the north tower on 9/11. Glover was another young man inspired by the bravery of that day.

                  "He said, 'Uncle Pete, I feel I have to do something,'" Hayden recalled at his nephew's wake.

                  Glover signed on with the Marines, and before he shipped out for Iraq, Hayden presented him with a small cross made of steel from the World Trade Center. Glover had a tiny hole drilled in the top and he was wearing it around his neck when he was killed.

                  The funeral was on Saturday, and the FDNY pipes and drums played as they would for one of their own. Reilly was working up at Engine 75 that night. He was on duty the following morning when an alarm came in for a fire at a 99-cent store on Walton Ave.

                  Reilly perished along with Fire Lt. Howard Carpluk. Purple-and-black bunting went up outside the firehouse, above the plaque honoring Firefighter Kentner for his continuing military service overseas. Laurie Kentner e-mailed her husband in Iraq, telling him of the firefighters killed back home.

                  Tomorrow, the FDNY pipes and drums will play at the funeral of Firefighter Michael Reilly, whose spirit and dedication can be proven in the most concrete terms by the simplest math. His FDNY starting pay stands as proof of how little motivated he was by money.

                  But, the same numbers also suggest how little we really value our firefighters as well as our similarly paid cops in between the funerals when the politicians line up to call them heroes.

                  Originally published on August 31, 2006

                  Never Forget 9-11-2001

                  Stay safe out there!

                  IACOJ Member


                  • #10
                    What a great article written by a great man....I recently met Steve Dunleavy at a pub following the wake of FF Reilly on Wednesday...it was very interesting to hear FF after FF come into the bar and thank him for an article so well written...after talking to him for awhile you can tell he is a man who isn't afraid to speak his mind and doesn't let the political BS interfere with his articles.


                    • #11
                      Steve Dunleavy is a true class act. He's always supported the FDNY and NYPD.


                      • #12
                        6 years gone already. RIP brothers.
                        Proud East Coast Traditionalist.


                        • #13
                          Well played by all.
                          cell #901-494-9437

                          Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

                          "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.

                          Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by nyckftbl View Post
                            6 years gone already. RIP brothers.
                            Remember the Fallen...
                            ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
                            Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY


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