May 27, 2014

Fire escapes and firehouses in New York

New York City, like any large city, has a mixture of old and new buildings. Some are high tech marvels, with all kinds of ways to limit fires and reduce the risk to occupants.

In some neighbourhoods the fire escapes are prominent fixtures, part of the design and appearance, and they alone provide the best potential for escape. Do these things get tested once in a while? Should we be concerned?

The Fire Department of New York is the largest municipal fire department in the US, and second largest in the world after Tokyo. FDNY employs over 11,000 fire fighters and over 3300 paramedics.

On September 11, 2001, 343 members of the FDNY were killed as they responded to the attacks on the World Trade Centre. There were 75 firehouses, like the two shown here, in which at least one member was killed.

There are 217 firehouses in the five boroughs of New York and like fire departments everywhere, they answer the call, no questions asked, every time. And if a fire fighter wants to park his or her car on the sidewalk in a fire zone, while it isn't right, no one seems to notice.

And not noticing doesn't make it right either.

Photos by Jim Murray. Copyright 2014.