On a Happy Note When the New York Fire Department held its annual memorial service this fall, there was a happy note that seldom is heard. For the first time since 1965, no New York City fire fighter died in the line of duty during the preceding 12 months. That is really an enviable record in a city that has more fires than any other city in the nation. Chief of Department John Hart mentioned during the memorial service that since he joined the department in 1954, 256 fire fighters had died in the line of duty in New York City. That’s an average of 9.5 fire fighters a year, which makes the current record so remarkable—a record hopefully to be repeated.