Thursday, December 07, 2006

Childrens Hospital Mini Firehouse Room Unveiled

Today, I had the pleasure of attending the official unveiling for the WMC Childrens Hospitals "Mini Firehouse", located in the Heroes wing.

This room is mostly known for the firetruck cab, made possible by the Tegtmeir Foundation and Ray Nichols. This actual E-One engine cab is fully wheelchair accesible, and has working lights. The children of the hospital love it.

A while ago, two forces, Jim and Gina Arena, and the Greenburgh Uniformed Firefighters Assocaciation Local 1586 (The Firefighters of Hartsdale, Fairview, and Greenville) decided to kick up the room a notch.

Jim and Gina Arena, who are parents that had a sick child that spent many hours in that fire engine, among other things, collected helmet shields from each department in the county and got them hung up in the room.

The Greenburgh Uniformed Firefighters Association IAFF Local 1586, of which I'm a proud member of, led by Vice President and Hartsdale FD Group 3 Firefighter Chip Nanko, raised the funds (with some help from the brothers in Rye), coordinated the effort, and worked with a muralist to make the room look like a realistic firehouse.

The muralist, Lisa Samalin ( ) did EXCELLENT work!!! The room looks colorful, cheery, and like an actual firehouse. I liked many of the details, since they're generically replicated from my department's Station 1. I also loved the mural of the turnout gear for Jimmy Boy, which signified a lot about this room for me.

Hartsdale Group 1 firefighter and GUFA Trustee John O'Reilly scratch-built a wooden childrens table with a maltese cross inlay. It's a beautiful addition to the room, as we all know every firehouse needs a kitchen table.

Jim and Gina Arena signify what this room is all about, and their spirit brings a lot of life and hope into this hospital and room.

The Farreris made this hospital happen. The Tegtmeirs started this room off.

It's times like this where I'm proud to be a member of IAFF Local 1586....the men who lead this union truly look out for the best for both their men and their community. Thanks Chip, Billy Malone, and all GUFA members who made this room and other things for the children of this hospital possible.

In closing, the photos do not do this room justice. It is BEAUTIFUL, amazingly detailed, and something that will bring some relief to suffering children. You have to see it for yourself.

Here are the photos