FIRE WATCH MAGAZINE
Members of the Camden Fire Department over the years been represented by different union and fraternal organizations, including the International Association of Fire Fighters, the International Association of Fire Fighters, the Brotherhood of Professional Fire Fighters, the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters, and the Society of Camden Latino Fire Fighters.
Local 788 also published FIRE WATCH MAGAZINE from 1977 well into the 1990s, detailing the activities of the Department in its issues. With photo and articles by Bob Bartosz, Joel Bain, Frank Saia and others, the magazines are a real treasure. It is an honor to be able to present these accounts of the activities of Camden's fire fighters here, and I hope to be able to reproduce several issues on the website in time.
If you can identify anyone not named in the photos on the website, or if would like to see other images or stories posted, please e-mail me.
as of August 26, 2005
PUBLICATION STAFF, FIREWATCH MAGAZINE
CITY HALL, CAMDEN NEW JERSEY
HON. ANGELO J. ERRICHETTI - MAYOR
A CITY CHANGING ITS IMAGE
Chief of Department Edward Michalak steps back and takes a look at the "big picture" as heavy smoke pushed out of a cockloft area on a row of occupied dwellings in the 500 block of Elm Street. Fire occured on May 31, 1967 and required a 3rd Alarm to control. Photo Courtesy of Bob Bartosz.
Extremely heavy smoke conditions obscure aerial view of South Camden as Fire Department forces press the attack art this center city blaze in a row of commercial taxpayer properties in the 500 block of Federal Street. Fire occurred on the bitterly cold morning of November 13, 1974 and went to a 4th Alalrm before being controlled. Photo courtesy of Bob Bartosz
Engine # 6 - Front & Linden Street
Member on far right, operates initial line in an attempt to prevent fire from extending across common doorway into severely exposed adjacent property, while larger attack lines are stretched and readied for service. Fire involved all four floors of vacant corner property at 604 N. 3rd Street, North Camden on May 6,1977 and was confined to original fire building. A 2nd Alarm for Box 1213 was required to control this stubborn blaze. Photo by R. Frett
Camera catches an example of "teamwork personified" as Engineman stretches in from right, while Truckman in background "forces the door". Fire involved ground floor of vacant store front property at Broadway and Clinton Streets on May 22,1977 and was brought under control by lirst alarm units. Box 2312 was transmitted for this South Camden worker. Photo by J.. Marini
Fr. Bendy, Ladder 1, does an excellent job of venting front bay windows as Enginemen; in doorway on far left, prepare to "push in". Action occurred at Box 8101, transmitted: for this fire located at 529 S. 3rd Street, South Camden on May 16, 1977. Fire was "knocked down' by first alarm units. Photo by J.. Marini
All members are urged to submit all newsworthy items of interest to the publication staff for the Firehouse Chatter Column. Your contribution of news material" will greatly assist us in making your magazine more interesting and enjoyable. All contributions will be certainly appreciated.
"A TIP O' THE HELMET TO" .... all the members who supported the Hero Scholarship Fund Thrill Show held on June 18, 1977. The price of a $2.00 ticket is a cheap insurance policy for all members to have, should that dreadful need ever arise. A special thanks to Chief Michalak and Capt. Jim McGrory, E.9, for their untiring efforts in supporting this worthy program so that we may all benefit by it's availability.
On Wednesday, May 4, 1977, the Camden Fire Department welcomed it's new Fire Chaplain, Rev. Edward Lipinski. Father Lipinski, in residence and an assistant pastor at St. Joseph's Parish, South Camden, is the youngest Chaplain ever to be assigned to our department. Since his appointment, Father Ed has demonstrated his genuine interest and concern for this department and it's members by his presence at the scene of many extra alarms during the busy month of May. Our new Fire Chaplain stands ready to serve the needs of this department in any way that he possibly can. We welcome him aboard and wish him a long and happy tour of duty with us.
Engine 10's new Pierce Pumper, otherwise known by its members as "Marmaduke II", is reported to be running rough since two of its key personnel, Capt. (Big Ed) Brendlinger and Fr. Leon (Where's me boots?) Puszczykowski, have been off on medical leave. Hoping both members are feeling better.
Congratulations are in order to the executive board and members of our fraternal organization, the Brotherhood of United Firefighters (B.U.F.F.) on the completion of the new association hall, located at 871 Princess Avenue in Parkside. B. U.F.F. President Clarence (Joe) Hawkins, L.2, and his board of directors, Fr. Charlie Greene, F. M .0., Fr. Robert Morton, E.3, and Fr. Davy Sanders, E.3, report a grand opening to be held some time during August. We wish them all, the best of luck!
The 2nd Annual Camden Police and Firefighters Golf Tournament was held on June 6, 1977 at the Ironrock Golf Glub in Cherry Hill. In spite of overcast skies and persistent rain, the determined golfers continued the tourney. The Firefighters came out on top for the second straight year. Shown above is the Mayor's Trophy being present to Chief of Department, Edward Michalak, by this department's top four golfers. They are, Fr. Rich Francesconi, B-2-A, with a score of 75, Capt. Joe Anderson, E.2, a score of 81, Fr. Bobby Welsh, L.2, a score of 81, and Fr. John Meksa, E.9, with a score of 75. Congratulations for a job well done.
"A TIP O' THE HELMET TO" .... Fr. Bill Huelas and Fr. Dick Prosser of Engine 7, and Fr. Jim Hillman and Capt. Bob Lapp of Engine 8, for the fine rescues of three trapped and unconscious children, performed at all hands-Box #5214, transmitted at 2330 hours on April 10, 1977 for a fire located at 1264 Thurman Street. Teamwork on the part of all units resulted in the saving of life and the quick confinement of fire. Also glad to hear of Fr. Jesse Flax's return to duty from medical leave following a bad feed of smoke inhalation, received while operating at this Box. Units operating at all hands5214 were Engines 7 and 8, Ladder Co. 2, and 3rd Battalion under the command of B. C. George Kurtyan. A job well done.
It is always a pleasure to report good news. The best news of the day was heard, confirming Capt. Bob Davenport's (L.3) successful heart operation which he underwent following this publication's last issue. As of this printing, Capt. Bob is reported to be feeling in good condition. All hands miss his smiling face and arc awaiting his return to 27th Street.
The executive board of Local #788 reports that there will be no meetings of the union for the balance of the summer of'77, as a convenience to all the brothers who will be out of town with their families on summer vacation. Our Secretary, Sonny Frett reports that the next scheduled meeting of the Local will be on September 21, 1977. All members are urged to attend this meeting for important upcoming contract discussions.
Glad to see Capt. Joe Anderson, E.2, back on duty around the big house following an on the line injury, sustained while operating at all hands-Box # 1231. A large shard of glass struck Joe on the forehead resulting in a nasty cut. The doctors did a fine job and Joe is feeling much better.
The Camden Fire Department was well represented in the competitive events held at the Thrill Show grounds by five of our most able members, who took the time out to participate. No Olympic Medals were won, but a great time was had by all. They were Fr. Billy Colucci, L.1, Fr. Sonny Frett, B-1-A, Fr. Don Jankiewicz, L.3, Fr. Buddy Kifferly, E.11, and Fr. Skip Stinger, E.9. A sincere thanks for their contribution to this worthy cause.
The above photo was taken when Engine 2 and the 1st Battalion serviced a standby assignment for an aircraft landing. The aircraft brought Governor Brendan Byrne to the city to inspect progress on the Cooper Medical Center's Expansion Project. Mayor Errichetti was on hand to greet the Governor, and both executives were delighted to pose with two of our members for this publication's photographer. Shown above are I to r; B. C. Kenneth Penn, 1st Battalion, Mayor Angelo Errichetti, Governor Brendan Byrne, and Capt. Roy Moffa, E.2.
Brother Bob DeFord also back in quarters with Engine 2 following an LO.D. at P. Box #8102. Heavy smoke conditions and the heat of the day, once again teamed up to take their toll, as they so often do during the summer months.
Fr. Stan Trzebuniak, L.I, did a fine job in applying his special talents to the newly painted finish of Engine 2's Pumper. The gold leaf lettering came out so well that Engine 2's Officer, Capt. Roy (the Don) Moffa was heard saying, "We don't need no new apparatus!" All members of the big house certainly appreciate Stan's time and effort for a job well done.
Congratulations to all the members of the Camden Fire Officers Association on their new charter within the International Association of Fire Fighters. Their new identity is Local #2578 LA.F.F. and the charter was presented and adopted on Tuesday, June 28, 1977 at a meeting of the Officers Association. Congratulations are also in order for the newly appointed executive board members of Local #2578. They are Capt. Kenny Clark, (L.3) as President, B. C. John Letts, (3rd Batt.) as Treasurer, and Capt. Randy Brooks (L.l) as Secretary. With the adoption of Local #2578, along with Local #788, the Camden Fire Department is now totally LA.F.F. We wish Local #2578 a very prosperous and fruitful venture.
Happy to hear of Fr. Paul (Kielbasa Power) Matyjasik's return to duty following an L.O.D. It's reported that the Kielbasa Kid had a difference of opinion with Ladder 1's apparatus (known by many as the lead-sled) and a wrestling bout ensued. No doubt, the lead-sled won. With no hard feelings, Paul is back in the tiller seat.
Further good news heard with B. C. Harold Pike back on duty at the F.M.O., and Capt. Bill Winstanley's return to the Ferry Avenue Campus. Both members were off on extended medical leave.
Congratulations to Fr. Jim Nash, E.8, for his graduation with honors, and the receipt of his Associate Degree in Applied Sciences as a Fire Science Major. Commencement Exercises were held at Mercer County Community College in June, 1977. A job well done.
Congratulations also in order to Fr. Dick Prosser, E.7, on his "Outstanding Performance A ward" presented him by the Camden Police Department during National Police Week, for his performance in the saving of life at all hands-Box #5214.
Happy to hear that Walt Wolick, Department Fire Mechanic, is feeling better following his injuries at the Fire Shops. Walt is known for his efficiency and helpfulness to all members of the department wh~never they need the services of the Motor Maintenance Unit. Hoping for his full recovery and return to duty at the shops in the very near future.
Shown above are the three executive board members of the newly adopted Local #2578 LA. F. F. as they proudly display their new charter along with two representatives of the LA.F.F. from both State and International Offices. They are I to r; Mike Bavaro, State President of the N.J. Firefighters Association LA.F.F., Mr. Cel Kelly of Nova Scotia, Canada, Staff Rep. of the LA.F.F., and Local #2578's Secretary, Randy Brooks, Treasurer, John Letts, and President, Kenny Clark.
Many thanks to "Brother" Ray McClintock for his many long hours of dedicated duty to the members of this department in the form of Fire Canteen Service. It should be noted that this department enjoys the exclusive service of our own canteen unit, mostly because Ray took the initiative and sacrificed much of his own time and money to provide us with this necessary service, which we depend upon so heavily. Many thanks also, to the members of this department who have also sacrificed much of their off duty time to perform service on the canteen. A special thanks and a "hope your feeling better" wish to Mrs. Rose Kifferly, wife of Fr. Buddy Kifferly, E.II, for her many long hours on the fireground. Rose recently injured her hand on the Canteen Unit while operating at an extra alarm.
The annual report of the Fire Canteen U nit for the year ending 1976 is as follows: Total Service Time-170 Hours. Number of Assignments-19. Coffee dispensed-4,650 Cups. Lime Water dispensed-3,775 Cups. Soup dispensed-3,250 Cups. Donuts-155 Dozen. Hot Dogs-103 Lbs. NOTE: The Canteen Unit also reported on a Mutual Aid Assignment for the Belmawr Park V 01. Fire Department, to assist in servicing a fund raising drive for Muscular Dystrophy.
"A TIP O' THE HELMET TO" .... all the Officers and Members of the Fire Communications Center, for their efficient performance of duty under great pressure, during the extremely busy month of May. Extra Alarm activity was seen on almost a daily basis with simultaneous multiple alarms on several occasions. A job well done by the Fire Alarm Room.
Local #788 LA.F.F., is sponsoring a Haircut and Styling venture on Sunday, July 31, 1977 at Gloucester City, King and Monmouth Streets, as a fund raising benefit for Muscular Dystrophy. AI! operators from the Glenby Beauty Salons International, are donating ten hours of their time toward this worthy cause, and will be on hand to service as many customers as possible. Program Chairman, Fr. Bill Colucci, L.t, and committee member, Fr. Bill DiPompo, E.8, urge all members and their families to turn out and support this most important program. The time will be from twelve noon until six o'clock (?). The Glenby Salons will also sponsor a cake sale and have a live Band on the premises, to highlight the day. Muscular Dystrophy Cannisters will be passed out to each station in the near future. All units are urged to return them filled, and help our Local, lend a helping hand to the unfortunate.
Shown righ t are members of Local 11788 as they accompany the "Easter Bunny" (Mrs. Rosemary Kifferly) to the Children's Wards of the city's hospitals, during the Easter Holiday. The children were delighted to get a kiss from the Easter Bunny, hold hands with the firefighters, and receive their Easter Presents of stuffed animals. Pictured from I to rare: Fr. Bob Williams, E. II, and President of Local 11788, Fr. Buddy Kifferly, E.II, and Treasurer of the Local, and Fr. Denny Penn, E.7, committee member on public relations for the Local.
Well, that's it for this issue's Firehouse Chatter Column. We'll be coming your way again in October with our Autumn Issue. Till then, all brothers are urged to make SAFETY an integral part of your family's summer vacation. Have a great summer and we'll see you in the fall.
Support Your Local....Our Strength is in Unity!
Members of Engine 6 (Circa 1949) proudly pose with apparatus in front of Company Headquarters at Front & Linden Streets, North Camden. They are: on apparatus Fr. J. Prucella and Fr. Harrison Pike- Motor Pump Operators, l to r: Fr. P. Farrow, Fr E. Callahan, Fr. T. McParland, Fr. R. Dukes, Capt. W. Dietz, Fr. T. Winstanley, Fr. J. Stewart, Fr. M. Fattore, and Fr. E. Tartaglia, Photo Courtesy of J. Stewart
The "on duty" platoon of Engine 11 (Circa 1931) pose with apparatus in front of Company quarters at 27th Street and Hayes Avenue, Cramer Hill. Note the frontispiece of helmet being worn by member standing on extreme right side of back-step. Member must be on detail or recently transferred to Engine 11 from "Engine 5". Photo Courtesy of A. Hess.
Relations Unit - News Items
Camden Fire Department's Community Relations Unit is making every effort
to improve relations between the citizens of Camden and the Camden Fire
Department. Monthly meetings are being held in North and South Camden
with the residents in order to hear their complaints and act upon them.
These meetings are of value in as far as not only our efforts to try and
solve certain problems, but we in turn let the residents know how we
feel on the latest issues and confrontations that concern our personnel.
These meetings have been attended by Chief Michalak, Chief Pike, myself,
and all the Division Chiefs.
took the Community Relations Unit a long time, but with continued
persistence, we have had those vacant dwellings on Line Street between
3rd and 4th Streets finally torn down. This may relieve the harassment
our firefighters have been receiving in that neighborhood.
City has authorized 400 vacant and vandalized dwellings to be torn down
in North Camden. The Community Relations Unit has pinpointed which
dwellings should be torn down. This we hope will relieve some harassment
in North Camden.
have also made frequent visits to day care centers in these
neighborhoods to try to spread good will. The Community Relations Unit
will continue to do our best to help all Camden citizens and
firefighters in every way possible. Please inform this Unit on any
suggestions on how to improve the department's image, as I will
appreciate any good and worthwhile new idea.
OF FIRE COMMUNICATIONS
Tips in Communications
first arriving unit at an assignment should not delay in announcing
their arrival on location and giving conditions as observed in
accordance with the "Prompt Reporting of Fireground Condition"
procedure as indicated and explained in General Order 76-1. This very
vital report, as a matter of priorities, informs the Battalion Chief,
who may be coming a longer distance, first hand information about the
assignment, and secondly, tells the Fire Alarm Room that you have indeed
arrived at the assignment, as well as what to prepare for.
When the Battalion Chief has arrived and has had time to assess the overall situation, he or his designated aide should provide a more comprehensive report as to conditions including, height, width, and depth of firebuilding, volume and location of fire and smoke, and all pertinent information concerning exposures and occupancy. This again, allows the Alarm Room to be prepared for Special Calls or Extra Alarms as might be indicated.
These reports with all information should always be at the dispatcher's fingertips so that Division Chiefs and the Chief of Department can be kept up to date on conditions as they prevail. Progress reports should be as comprehensive as possible and should be provided every ten minutes until the fire or emergency is placed under control.
If used correctly, communications is a valuable aid in providing adequate, effective, and professional fire protection, and is a valuable aid in firefighting. USE IT!
Education is becoming a major factor in all aspects of fire inspection and fire suppresion. The importance of education is so vital that even colleges and universities now offer Fire Science Curriculums. The growth of our nation's population and economy demands an increasing emphasis on protective services. The Fire Science Technology and Protection Curriculum provides professional training and education for firefighting personnel.
Some of the courses being offered this semester at Camden County College are, Hydraulic Technology, Introduction to Fire Technology, and Building Codes and Standards.
The Fire Academy has just taken delivery of a new set of 35 mm. slides on "The Firefighter and Plastics In a Changing Environment." This presentation will be conducted at each station in the very near future.
In the past three months the Fire Training Academy has graduated three new probationary firefighters. At this time we would like to congratulate them and wish them a fine and fulfilling career in the Camden Fire Department. A PROFESSIONAL FIREFIGHTER IS A WELL TRAINED FIREFIGHTER.
Tips on Oil Check Procedures for Allison Automatic Transmissions
checking the oil level, clean around the end of the fill 'pipe before
removing the dip stick. Dirt and foreign matter must not be permitted to
enter the oil system. Operate the transmission in a drive-range until
normal operating temperatures (160-220 degrees F.) are reached. The oil
must be warm to insure an accurate check. The oil level rises as
through all drive ranges to fill the clutches and oil passages. Park the
vehicle on a level grade. Shift to neutral (N) and apply the parking
break. Let the engine run at idle speed. Check oil level after wiping
the dip stick clean. The safe operating level is between the full and
add mark on the dip stick.
If excessive temperature is indicated by the transmission oil temperature gauge, stop the vehicle and shift to neutral. Accelerate the engine to 1200-1500 RPM. The temperatures should return to normal (Within two or three minutes) before the vehicle resumes normal operation. Normal operating temperatures 160-220 degrees F. Oil temperature should not exceed 250 degrees F. Do not check transmission cold. Transmission oil must always be at operating temperature in order to pull an accurate check.
Support Your Local....Our Strength is in Unity!
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