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Fighting Fires is Only Part of the Job
By Bill Huxley

Within a few days of the terrible events of 9/11, the walls of the firehouse at 165 E. 51st Street had been decorated with hundreds of letters and drawings by school children from all over the country. There were also enough flowers arranged on the sidewalk to open a small florist shop. It looked festive, but, of course, it was not.

In spite of the loss of ten men at the World Trade Center, things at Engine 8 and Ladder 2 are pretty much back to business. They still inspect all our neighborhood buildings for fire safety on a regular schedule (schools and hospitals more often) and they test more than 200 fire hydrants every spring and fall. For most fire alarms, their area of response extends beyond the bounds of Turtle Bay and runs from 42nd to 59th Streets and from Madison Avenue to the East River. For emergencies, however, there is no real limit to the distance they will go to fight large fires.

In 1998, the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) became a bureau of the Fire Department, bringing a host of new responsibilities. They now respond to all manner of medical emergencies, using state-of-the-art lifesaving equipment.

On the subject of fire safety, the single most important thing you can do is install smoke detectors in your apartment and change the batteries once a year.


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The Turtle Bay Association is a nonprofit (501c3) community organization.

224 East 47th Street, New York City 10017
(212) 751-5465
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