Back in blue like 92

I’ve been a baseball fan since 1989..and the Toronto Blue Jays are my team.

Over the last few seasons they have flirted with success but all too often have slipped into mediocrity and failure, normally due to poor signings* like Alex Rios and B J Ryan or guys who were only at Toronto for a few season, wer not deemed good enough and then went somewhere else, where they then miraculously became good (Woody Williams, Chris Carpenter).

Despite the fact that Roy Halladay AKA the best pitcher in baseball (Period). has left and gone to the Phillies im still cheering for/shaking my head to the Blue Jays.

One great thing about this season (apart from Jose Bautista leading the majors with 52 home runs) is that fact that the Jays have brought back their retro uniforms from the 92 and 93 World Series winning era.

And the uniforms are still looking good..unlike Toronto’s chances for the postseason…

(* July 28, 1995. Well out of contention in the American League East, the Jays dealt ace David Cone to the Yankees for three right-handed pitching prospects: Marty Janzen, Jason Jarvis and Mike Gordon. Over his next six seasons with the Yankees, Cone would be selected to two all-star teams, toss a perfect game and win four World Series titles! The Jays, on the other hand, were left to scratch their heads at the performances of the trio of  ‘quality pitchers’ they acquired for the all-star righty).

Bulldogs of Bergen Street

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!

New kit

The NZ Fire Service in Wellington has just got some shiny new kit….!

Thorndon Station (right next to my office) has just got a brand new 2010 Scania 310 DB4X2MNA.

Central Wellington Station has just got two new machines; a new platform ladder truck in the shape of a 2009 Mercedes Benz 2633 6×2/4 Econic.

And they have also just got a new Hazmat/Command Vehicle, which paid a visit to Thorndon the other day. It is a 2009 DAF LF55.

Welcome home to Wellington

Wellington’s new namesake navy ship glided into her home port in the capital for the first time last Friday.

The HMNZS Wellington is the last of the New Zealand navy’s seven new ships, an 85 metre long, 1900 tonne patrol vessel designed to go further offshore and stay out for long periods of time. It replaces the aged frigate Wellington that was sunk off Island Bay last year as the region’s flagship navy vessel.

Wellington is the second Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) to be built for the New Zealand navy. Modules of the ship were built separately, including some in Whangarei, to be assembled at the Tenix shipyard in Williamstown, Australia.  The ship is based on a design already in service with the Irish Navy and Mauritius Coastguard.

She will be able to operate throughout New Zealand’s 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the southern ocean and the Pacific.  She will carry out a range of roles including patrolling, surveillance, search and rescue, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, support to peacekeeping operations and sea training for the Navy.

She will also conduct maritime patrols in conjunction with the P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft in the New Zealand EEZ, southern ocean and South Pacific.  The surveillance tasks are primarily non-military in support of civilian agencies and involve specialist staff from government agencies such as NZ Customs and Ministry of Fisheries.

The OPV’s are capable of many roles including maritime patrol, surveillance and response.  They have the ability to conduct helicopter operations using a Seasprite SH2G helicopter, boarding operations using the ships Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats, or Military Support Operations with embarked forces.

The OPV’s have strengthened hulls which enable them to enter southern waters where ice may be encountered.  They are not designed as ice-breakers or to enter Antarctic ice-packs, but have the range and capability to undertake patrols in the southern ocean where ice may be encountered.

The ships are highly automated and operate with a core crew of 35, plus 10 flight crew to operate a helicopter.  The ships power and control systems are fully computerised.

Standard Displacement:    1,900 tonnes
Length Overall:                85 metres
Beam:                            14 metres
Range:                           6,000 nautical miles
Maximum Speed:              22 Knots

Complement:
Core ships company           35
Flight personnel                 10
Government agencies:       4
Additional personnel:        30
Total:                              79

Armament:   One 25mm Bushmaster stabilised auto cannon and two .50 calibre Browning machine guns.