Alton Grindle

Alton David Grindle lost his life serving his hometown fire department. He was survived by a wife and five children when his life was suddenly cut short. His children were 4, 9, 11, 13 and 15 at the time of his death. His passion for public service was complemented by the family farmless than a mile from the fire station. His legacy has been carried on with one son and a grandson who are currently proud members of the fire department.

Eric Oliver

Eric Eugene Oliver

On January 14, 1972, a box alarm came in for a 3 story brick building with heavy fire and smoke showing.  For over 2 hours, the on and off duty member of the Little Rock Fire Department shot thousands of gallons of water into the aged brick building.  The result was a thick, slick coating of ice on everything. Truck 4 was operating their ladder pipe and several men were operating hand lines between the truck and the building when suddenly  a loud noise signaled the collapsing south wall with tons of falling brick and mortar.  Firefighter Eric Oliver from Engine 5 and Firefighter Jerry Jacobs from Truck 4 were fatally crushed by the debris.

Jerry Jacobs

Jerry Joseph Jacobs

On January 14, 1972, a box alarm came in for a 3 story brick building with heavy fire and smoke showing.  For over 2 hours, the on and off duty member of the Little Rock Fire Department shot thousands of gallons of water into the aged brick building.  The result was a thick, slick coating of ice on everything. Truck 4 was operating their ladder pipe and several men were operating hand lines between the truck and the building when suddenly  a loud noise signaled the collapsing south wall with tons of falling brick and mortar.  Firefighter Jerry Jacobs from Truck 4 and Firefighter Eric Oliver from Engine 5 were fatally crushed by the debris.

 

Carmelo “Carmine” J. Puccia

Carmelo J. Puccia

Firefighter Carmelo “Carmine” J. Puccia, age 32, of the Fire Department City of New York – Engine Company 53, made the supreme sacrifice while operating on the subway tracks at Manhattan Box 1236 on January 6, 1970.

Joseph P. Carone Sr.

Joseph P. Carone Sr.

On December 13, 1964, Chicago Fire Department Firefighter Joseph P. Carone, Sr., age 49, of Truck 31, died in the line of duty following a structural collapse during a commercial fire in a six-story building on West Illinois Street.

Bernard McNamara

Bernard F. McNamara was born and raised in the Brighton section of Boston, MA. His wife, Mary Swift, sailed to Ellis Island alone at 16 from Williamstown, County Galway, Ireland. Mary’s parents sent her to live with cousins in Boston due to the financial hardships her family and much of Ireland endured at the time.

Bernard joined the Boston Fire Department on October 14, 1903. Stationed at 16 Harvard Ave in Allston, he served as a Hoseman with Engine Company 41 Ladder 14. He died in 1934 at the age of 59 from pneumonia after being soaked while fighting a winter fire. Bernard McNamara proudly served this community for over 30 years.

Michael Chormanski

Michael Chormanski was a graduate of Cliffside Park High School and had served in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam conflict with the United States Air Force. Michael came home to help financially support his widowed mother. He was 26 years of age and worked for J. Fletcher Kramer & Sons Construction Co. while attending Bergen Community College in the evenings. Michael also made time to follow in his late father’s footsteps, and join his 2 brothers, and cousin to serve in the Cliffside Park volunteer fire department. He had 2 uncles who were serving as career firefighters in the same department, making him the 7th family member to serve.

On Sunday, November 4, 1973, at 1:38 in the afternoon both men answered their final alarm. A building fire was reported at 783 Palisade Avenue, a mixed-use occupancy that contained The Founders Restaurant on the first floor, and multiple apartments on the second floor. Firefighters Ferraro and Chormanski entered the smoke-filled basement in an attempt to locate victims and find the seat of the fire. Both members ran out of breathing air and perished before they could reach the stairs to exit.

In the face of danger, and without concern for their own wellbeing they performed their duties with courage and without hesitation. They honored the sworn oaths they took to protect lives and property and in doing so, made the supreme sacrifice leaving their families, their fire department and the community they served in unimaginable grief. Over 1,000 firefighters and first responders turned out for their joint funeral mass at St. John’s Church. The Chormanski and Ferraro families lived in neighboring apartments in the same multiple family home on Gorge Road

Philip Ferraro

Phil Ferraro was 36 years of age, a 7-year veteran of the same career department, and a graduate of Cliffside Park High School. He as well, followed in his father’s footsteps to serve in the fire department. Phil was married and the father of 3 children, his youngest, a daughter was 6 months old. Phil was serving his second term as President of FMBA local # 45. Phil was well liked and respected by his peers locally as well as in neighboring communities. He was an active member of the Epiphany Church’s Holy Name Society and the parish’s senior boys CYO Basketball coach. He loved baseball and was determined to put a fire department softball team together that could beat neighboring Fort Lee Fire Company #4. He created a very healthy rivalry in the process.

On Sunday, November 4, 1973, at 1:38 in the afternoon both men answered their final alarm. A building fire was reported at 783 Palisade Avenue, a mixed-use occupancy that contained The Founders Restaurant on the first floor, and multiple apartments on the second floor. Firefighters Ferraro and Chormanski entered the smoke-filled basement in an attempt to locate victims and find the seat of the fire. Both members ran out of breathing air and perished before they could reach the stairs to exit.

In the face of danger, and without concern for their own wellbeing they performed their duties with courage and without hesitation. They honored the sworn oaths they took to protect lives and property and in doing so, made the supreme sacrifice leaving their families, their fire department and the community they served in unimaginable grief. Over 1,000 firefighters and first responders turned out for their joint funeral mass at St. John’s Church. The Chormanski and Ferraro families lived in neighboring apartments in the same multiple family home on Gorge Road.

John Patrick Callahan

John Patrick Callahan was born in 1904 in Mechanicville, New York. He and his twin brother, Martin S Callahan, joined the Mechanicville Fire Department circa 1922. They were assigned to the W. B. Neilsen Hose Company, Number 4. In 1950, he moved to the neighboring town of Stillwater where he became one of 38 men who were Charter Members of the Arvin Hart Fire Department founded on July 24, 1954. His home was across the street from the where the fire station was built in 1955 with its sole truck, a 1934 LaFrance. His position was 1st Assistant Fire Chief.

On August 15, 1956 at approximately 1pm, 1st Assistant Chief Callahan went to a grass fire in Stillwater. Upon returning home at 2:45pm, he died suddenly of a heart attack. He had chest pains at the fire scene but was unaware of the gravity of his medical condition. 1st Assistant Chief Callahan was survived by his wife, Honora Greeley Callahan, his oldest son, Father Zachary Callahan, his daughters, Honora “Kiki” Bendon and Agnes Ryan and his 14 year old son, John Patrick Callahan, Jr. 1st Assistant Chief Callahan was also Assistant Yardmaster for the Delaware and Hudson Railroad.

Joe Tibbitts

Inmate Firefighter Joe Tibbitts, age 34, of the Viejas Honor Camp died while fighting the Inaja Fire in Cleveland National Forest on November 25, 1956.