At 1472 Bergen Street, Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn in a tiny 2 storey building that dates from 1893 you will find bulldogs….
not real bulldogs… but the men of Rescue Squad 2 of the FDNY.
I own a t-shirt sporting the Rescue 2 insignia as, having spent a lot of time in Brooklyn, you have to support the local firehouse.
General Order No.15 of 1925 officially organized the Company and Special Order No. 35 of 1925 transferred in the Charter Members of the Newly established Rescue Company. The catalyst for the formation of Brooklyn’s Rescue Company, was a fire aboard a Submarine located within the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Rescue Co.1, located in Manhattan was assigned to respond for use of its specialized equipment, including smoke masks. The significant spread of fire aboard ship given the lengthy response time of Rescue , is credited as the reason for the formation of Rescue Co. 2.
During its 85 year history, 80 Rescue Co.2 members have received Department medals for bravery , and the Company has been awarded 52 Unit Citations. Ten members of Rescue Co. No. 2 have died in service.
According to early FDNY documentation, specialized tools and equipment were the primary reason for the establishment of the five Rescue Companies. A big emphasis was placed on equipping the companies with tools that could be vital in performing rescues of civilians and fire-fighters at structural fires as well as operating at “odd jobs”.
Early versions of Self Contained Breathing Apparatus were first assigned to the Rescue Companies. Heavy duty lifting equipment, torches, and saws were initially introduced to the Rescue Companies. Life lines and a line gun (Lyle Gun) were among the initial complement of equipment assigned to Rescue Co. No. 2.
As modern technology evolved, the Rescue Squads were instrumental in pioneering the fire service application of Artificial Resuscitation techniques, SCBA, and firefighting foam. This tradition continues today as the Rescue Squads are given the chance to test new tools and equipment.
In addition to firefighting, the Rescue Company is trained and equipped to respond to numerous types of emergencies, including :
- motor vehicle extrications
- machinery/equipment entrapments
- confined space incidents
- high angle incidents
- SCUBA operations
- subway/train emergencies
- water emergencies
- structural collapse events
- trench collapses
On September 11 , 2001, while ascending the stairs to respond to numerous maydays for firemen trapped and to fight a fire on the 83rd floor, the Tower 1 building of the WTC collapsed to the ground. Lt. Martin , Fr. Lake , Fr. Libretti, Fr. O’Rourke , Fr. Quappe, Fr. Rall , and Fr. Napolitano of Rescue 2 were all killed in the line of duty.
Today Rescue Squad 2 uses a 2002 EOne Saulsbury heavy duty walk in truck that is armed with a vast assortment of tools and equipment. In the hands of well trained and experienced Rescue fire-fighters, these tools allow the Rescue to operate effectively at a wide array of fires and emergencies.
Because of the sheer number, and diverse nature of tools and equipment carried by the Rescue Company, many refer to the Rescue Rig as a Rolling Toolbox.
Put it this way, if you get stuck in something, under something, fall from something, get run over by something or have something land on you…these are the guys you want to come and get you out!