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I apologize for the late posting, but this letter came in after Chief Halton posted the Andy Fredericks article on the Father's Day Fire. The sentiments in it, though, can apply just as easily to our recent spate of fatal incidents:

I just got done reading your reprint on the Fire Engineering Web site of Andy Fredericks column on the Fathers Day Fire. Thanks for posting that piece. It is a great reminder to the fire service of how easily events and circumstances can cascade into a tragedy. A lot of very experienced fire officers and firefighters were on the scene that day and the situation still occurred. One of my guys in 176 truck whose brother was killed on the job used to say that the fire department was a very humbling job. He meant that no matter how good you were things can happen that are totally out of your control. That is what happened on June 17, 2001 in Astoria, Queens. Everybody there knew that this was a bad building and that things were not going well. Did we foresee what was about to happen? No. Were we surprised when it did happen? No. These buildings are everywhere in the U.S. We all have a hardware store in town.

I visited Brian Fahey's grave this morning and spoke to his wife Mary a little while ago. I know this is a tough time of year for her and the boys. Thanks again for remembering those who gave so much that day. God Bless Harry Ford, Brian Fahey, John Downing, and Andy Fredericks.

Sincerely Yours,

Denis M. Murphy
Assistant Chief Instructor
Nassau County Fire Service Academy


posted by Peter Prochilo
8/11/2008 04:39:00 PM

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