The New York Rescue Company
That Rescue Company No. 1 of the New York Fire Department, organized by Commissioner Adamson two years ago, was one of the busiest companies in the Fire Department last year, is shown by a report made public by the Commissioner. This company is equipped with oxygen helmets, a torch for cutting steel bars, pulmotors, life lines and a general rescue outfit. Last year, it states, the Rescue Company responded to 263 fire alarms. It used its oxygen helmets to make rescues at 21 fires. The steel cutting torch was used on seven occasions. The pulmotor was used to resuscitate fire victims on six occasions. The company removed bodies from buildings at three fires and on eleven occasions, the company was used to extricate people caught in elevators. In addition to this the company did a great deal of other special work. An indication of the character of work performed by the company is shown by the following: On 15 occasions the company, while wearing oxygen helmets, went into buildings charged with ammonia fumes, which other firemen could not enter, shut off the ammonia supply, and in a number of instances extinguished fires and made daring rescues. On several of these occasions, there had been various ammonia explosions. On several other occasions, the company went into buildings charged with chlorine gas fumes and extinguished fire. At two or three of these fires, firemen without the oxygen masks were unable to approach the buildings. On one occasion the company went into a building in Pine street, Manhattan, where a large quantity of trichlorine acid had been released, removing the bottles of the acid and extinguished the blaze which had started. Less than a month later, the company was called to the same building to extinguish a similar blaze. On July 26, last, the company entered the hold of the steamship “Isle de Pavay” at Pier 8, East River, and shut off the fumes due to fumigation and removed the body of a fumigation inspector who had been killed by the fumes. On several other occasions the firemen went into cellars of buildings densely charged with smoke and extinguished fires. On February 6, 1916, the company rescued Fire Patrol Engineer Barney Miles from the cellar of a building in Pearl street during a fire. Miles was trapped in this building, and but for the action of the company in cutting iron grates with the use of the oxygen blaugas cutting torch, his life would have been lost. Several persons caught in elevators were rescued by means of this torch. The company was called to a collapsed building on Third avenue, and released two men who had been caught under the ruins. The company also rescued a Pennsylvania Railroad conductor who had been jammed between a car and the electric engine at the entrance of the Pennsylvania Railroad tunnel.
The company used the pulmotor successfully in a number of cases, notably reviving members of the Fire Department overcome by smoke and fumes at the fire in the Arsenal, at 35th street and 7th avenue in July last. Several splendid rescues from fires were also made by members of the company in ordinary fire uniform. The company, says the statement, during its two years of history has demonstrated its usefulness to the department, and is regularly called out when emergency of any kind occurs in the cit