Fire Yenta 11/15/02

By Diane Feldman, Managing Editor

British marathoner raises money for FDNY, cancer
Lloyd Scott, a leukemia survivor and former British firefighter, completed the New York City marathon on Friday, November 8-five days after the event began. Scott wore a 1940s antique dive suit that weighed 130 pounds, a 40-pound helmet, and boots weighing 25 pounds each to run(?) the five-borough race, which covers 26.2 miles. He did it to raise money for cancer as well as for families of FDNY members lost on September 11, 2001. He stopped at fire stations along the route to spend the night, ate in local pizzerias, even had the shoes shined.

Runaway truck
On Route 17 in Bergen County, New Jersey, a fire pumper pulled up on the shoulder to extinguish a working car fire. The pump operator positioned the apparatus. The firefighters pulled an attack line. The pump operator throttled up the pump. What happened? Water? No! The pumper proceeded down the highway without a driver. The fire truck wasn’t actually in pump-it was still in road mode–and brakes didn’t hold. The pump operator began sprinting down the road, chasing the truck. He stopped it before any damage was done. Personnel needed a second handline to cool down the chief in charge of the incident.

A convertible-just what I always wanted!
A civilian in New York City found a real treasure this week (or so he thought)-a coveted parking space on the street in Manhattan. He thought nothing of parking his car behind his neighborhood fire station, figuring it would even be safer there since the station is staffed 24 hours a day. He saw two other cars there, a sure sign that the parking spot is OK. The next day, he returned to find the top of his car cut off. Apparently, the two other cars were parked there because the firefighters were about to drill with hydraulic cutters/spreaders. Personnel assumed the third car was for their cutting and drilling pleasure as well. Now the guy has a convertible!

Are you a FireSlayer?
MSA is looking for a member of the fire service who epitomizes courage, dedicaton, and bravery on whom to bestow its FireSlayer(r) of the Year award. You can be full-time or part-time, paid or volunteer, but you must have committed a brave act or served as a role model of integrity during the year 2002. Nominations are due January 31, 2003. Last year, Joe Downey accepted the award, presented at the FDIC, on behalf of the Fire Department of New York. For details or a nomination form, visit

New probie on the block
Congratulations to Fire Engineering/FDIC Executive Editor Lauren Keyson, who recently passed the State of New York Basic Firefighting Training Course. She completed the 42 hours of instruction at night in her “spare” time. The Yenta is proud of her-especially because she survived the grueling hands-on training two nights a week for months.

On the other hand, a long time ago, the Yenta “sat in” (read: did not participate physically) on Firefighter I classes at the Bergen County (NJ) Training Academy. When Technical Editor Tom Brennan heard about this, he said: “A little knowledge in the wrong hands is a dangerous thing.”

Diane Feldman is a 13-year veteran of Fire Engineering; she has spent the past 12 years as managing editor. She has a B.A. in English/communications. Previously she was an editor at the American Management Association in New York City.

If you have a tidbit for the Fire Yenta, e-mail

For past Fire Yenta columns, click on the links below:


No posts to display