Saturday, September 29, 2007

Best Cops Ever!

Tonight, COPS aired their 20th anniversary special on Fox.

This episode was full of action packed and unique clips filmed over the 20 seasons COPS has been on the air. The clips ranged from funny to dramatic to dangerous to outright shocking.

One reason why I liked the episode is because it portrayed the dangers Law Enforcment Officers face everyday, and the public doesn't usually see. This episode should be shown to community groups, with some narrative, to detail why LEO's use the force they do sometimes, because they want to go home at the end of the shift. I also liked this episode because it demonstrated how Tasers can effectively and quickly descalate an incident.

I'm sure this could have, easily, been a two hour special, if not more.

I hope they release this on DVD, with bonus footage.

The x635 Lego Project

Right now, I'm going through an extremly stressful period caused by a few isolated malicous, lying, heartless, and corrupt individuals. Since I'm cleared by my doctors and ready for full duty as a Firefighter again, yet not back at work despite doing all I can do to do to fight the above, I've been looking for ways to keep myself occupied, and my stress levels caused completly by the above people under control.

So, while in Montreal, I found this really cool Lego Technic set. I'm going to be building this, and posting my progress on my blog here. I've always wanted to do a Lego Technic set, specifically the crane (I really like the bulldozer too!), but have never had the time or desire to spend the money. So, when I came across this, I decided to splurge, and it might take my mind off things. I can only spend so much time out taking photos, working on the website, watching TV or reading. Need more frequent diverse things to do.

Build a realistic rescue vehicle!
This authentic model is ready to fight any
fire! Open the control panel on the side of the truck and use the 3 separate
gears to operate the aerial lift with ultimate precision. Adjust the boom
incline, angle and rotation -- the aerial lift raises to over 21" high and
rotates a full 360 degrees!
-Working outriggers lower to stabilize the truck!
-Use the gear at the back to control the steering!
-Rebuild into an equally authentic light-duty rescue truck!
-Includes building instructions for 2 models

Lego Technic has a bunch of cool machines to build, and if this goes well, there's a ton I want to do in the future! Check them out at:

Specifically, these are the models I want to do in the future when finances permit:

Tow Truck:


Unusual Occurence While At Mall In Montreal

While Kristen and I were browsing through the Complexe Desjardins Office Tower Shops in downtown Montreal on Thursday (9-27-07), all of a sudden we heard a loud "BOOM" from across the mall that sounded like an explosion. Quickly after that, we saw people running from opposite where the sound has come from.

As we made our way through the crowd that had calmed down and gathered to spectate, I saw EMS already on the scene treating a young girl, who was surrounded by shattered glass.

A large pane of decorative glass had, for an unknown reason, shattered, and rained down on this girl, who was on a field trip with her school. The patient was treated and transported to St. Francis Hospital with moderate cuts and bruises, but is reportedly in stable condition and injuries are not life threatening. Several other teens in the group were hysterical and treated for shock.

I noticed a couple of things that were different. What a difference a Country makes.

1. Patient wasn't removed from the immediate area where the glass collapsed.
2. Civilians were allowed to use the exact same entrance on the opposite side of the mall after the glass collapsed, despite their being numerous other ways to exit.
3. Spectatators were allowed to gather in immediate "collapse" zone.
4. Response was completly minimal. An ALS and BLS ambulance, one Truck company, one Patrol officer, and one Patrol Supervisor. That's it for being on scene for the first 15 minutes.

It seems Canadians are very laid back. They handled this incident calmly and differently then had it happened in the US. If this had happened in the US, I'm sure that additional apparatus, such as a Collapse Unit would have been summoned.

Additionally, the patient would have been removed from the collapse zone, and the area would have been secured until the cause of the shattered glass was determined.

However, the EMS anf Fire response was extemly expeditous.

Also, the media coverage on this was minimal. It was lunchtime, and the mall at the base of an office tower was packed. It was barely picked up by the local media. I feel the local media here would have been crawling all over this. Anyways, I'm glad the girl was alright.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Banksville FD Old Engine 158 To Become Dump Truck

Posted by an member: "Unfortunately the old 158, a Mack has been sold. It will be reincarnated into a dump truck. The truck has served us well for 19 years, and will serve its new owner well. It is definitely sad to see her go but it was time."

Any chance that it could be saved? I'm sure it's still a useful Engine with life still left in her.

There are departments in this Country that would consider it a blessing to be able to obtain this engine at a low/no cost, especially in the Hurricane Katrina/Hurricane Rita affected areas.

These areas have been very negelected by the goverment, and lack the proper tools to serve their communties. We here in Westchester are very fortunate to have what we have, and going to these areas is like going to a third world country, IN OUR OWN COUNTRY!

Everyone was so quick to want to help immediately after these horrific storms, but it seems many have already forgotten while these communities are still, to this day, completly devastated.

To turn this Engine into a dump truck, IMO, is a tremdous waste. It could be used to potentially save more lives in the future.

Now, I love Banksville FD and am friends with many of their members, and I don't know anything about the disposition of this engine other then what was mentioned above, but I really hope that this Engine can be saved from all things, a fate as a dump truck, and given to a needy community.

Or, maybe someone else reading this is getting ready to replace apparatus and will think how fortunate they are and how their "old" or "obsolete" piece could once again become very valuable to another community.

I know my department is going to be disposing of an Engine soon, that with some minor TLC, would still be very useful for many years. I hope they donate it to a needy community here in the USA, and I will push for that when the time comes.

Greenburgh Multi-Agency Cooperation Commendable

On 9-25-07, Greenburgh Police, Greenburgh Technical Rescue Team, Greenburgh (career) FD's (Hartsdale FD, Greenville FD, Fairview FD), and Greenburgh DPW assembled at Desanti Plaza in Hartsdale, for a confined space detail.

Greenburgh DPW was making an investigative entry into a storm drain/underground river that drains into the Bronx River that failed during heavy rains in April 2007, causing devastating flooding in downtown Hartsdale.

All units on scene cooperated to make sure all safety precautions were met, and entry was made by a Greenburgh Firefighter/Technical Rescue Team member and Greenburgh DPW member (also trained in confined space entry) to investigate and determine the problem.

During this detail, members of all agencies on scene also trained together on confined space and rope rescue techniques, and command and communications integration. Greenburgh PD's new Mobile Command Unit was on scene, and was utilized for technical assistance with the entry.

This successful multi-agency effort once again proved how all Town Of Greenburgh departments can respectfully synergize to provide top-notch, critical services to the Town Of Greenburgh residents.

Lessons learned at this detail/drill reinforced the importance of interagency cooperation and frequent training and utilization of equipment.

In addition, and most importantly, members investigated a possible cause of a devastating flood so that any problems can be rectified to prevent reoccurrence.

Many Hartsdale residents gathered in curiosity to watch the operation, and were very impressed (and IMO comforted for lack of a better word) by the level of service provided, qualifications of the manpower, and equipment used by the Town's agencies.

Photos are posted on

Monday, September 24, 2007

Norwalk's New RED Engine 1

City Of Norwalk, CT's New Engine 1

2007 Spartan/Marion

This is a new (conterversial) paint scheme for Norwalk FD. For many years, their apparatus has been all white with a red stripe. With this delivery, all Norwalk apparatus from this point on will be red, including the new Rescue, which is currently being spec'd.

Norwalk is appox. 45 minutes from NYC, on the Long Island Sound off I-95 in Southern Fairfield County, CT. They serve a very diverse city, with a large mix of income levels. Also, a very large area of diverse residential, commerical, industrial and institutional facilities, as well as several major roadways.

They have a really, really great and talented apparatus maintainence staff, that has built several custom apparatus for the department using a mix of aqquired chasis and bodies. They operate from a former transit bus garage opposite the Volk Central Fire Station (Sta 2) across I-95. The spacious facilty houses a large, well equipped shop as well as housing for Norwalk's antiques, and special operations vehicles.

Anyways, here's the photos. More can be found on

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Westchester's Longest Serving Firefighter

According to an article "Westchester Superlatives" in the October 2007 issue of Westchester Magazine:

Bravest (longest serving) firefighter: Fire Chief Walter Schoonmaker,
of Hartsdale, who started as a firefighter on August 1st, 1959

I believe he's been Chief since 1971, and still going strong at the helm of my department. He's hired every career Hartsdale firefighter serving today....some have even retired already!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Pascack Valley Hospital in Bergen County, N.J., to close by end of

It's amazing how populations grow and become more affluent, but more and more community hospitals are closing, especially this hospital located in a very affluent area. Is it not getting enough back from insurance, or poor financial managment? Patient census low? Why?

Pascack Valley Hospital also provides the Paramedics for the VAC's in the area of the hospital, which butts up against Rockland County. Does anyone know who may take that over?

Pascack Valley Hospital in Bergen County, N.J., to close by end of
(Original publication: September 20,

Pascack Valley Hospital will close its doors for good by the end of the
year, Vice President John Corcoran said this afternoon.

The hospital has lost $50 million over the past four years and had a
projected loss of more than $16 million for 2007. It had been in negotiations to
merge with Hackensack University Medical Center, but those talks fell

Read more about this story tomorrow in The Journal News.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Photo Of Campaign Litter

Here's a photo of the campaign litter I was talking about in a previous entry. This photo was taken on the afternoon of 9-19-07, the day after the primaries these signs were put up for. If anyone else did this, it would be a big deal. But I'm glad that the citizens have greater respect for the visual appeal of this town and don't do this on a regular basis. After all, there is a code concerning this.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Campaign Litter

Driving around my town lately, there are campaign signs EVERYWHERE you look.

These same politicians who are posting these signs are the ones who make the laws about business posting signs, and littering. However, when it comes to themselves, obviously, the laws aren't applicable to them.

In one municipality where these signs are appearing, you're not even allowed to post Garage Sale signs without a permit, and you must take them down immediately after the event. Other signs are regularly taken down, and violations are issued by Codes Enforcement officers. In fact, DPW personel are taking down signs, and the campaigns are right there behind them putting them back up.

It's even gotten so vicous between campaigns that they're even taking each others signs down, or blocking each others signs with their own.

However, the politicans campaigning obviously don't think that the law applies to them. It's sad they can't practice what they preach. The insane amount of campaign signs around my town is ridiculous....the people campaigning are going overboard. Not only is it visually unappealing, the amount of material they are wasting is disgusting. I know they have to get the message out and are trying to rally voters to vote for them, but enough is enough.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Phelps Hospital EMS Training Center

Today, I started my Paramedic Refresher at Phelps Hospital.

I haven't been to Phelps in a while, but when I pulled in, WOW! A whole new building and parking structure had been built.

Inside the brand new building, is a brand new, spacious, amentiy loaded EMS training center. It was really amazing, one of the nicest EMS facilities I've ever seen. Everything is BRAND new, it has several classrooms loaded to the gills with the latest in A/V equipment, several simulation labs, including an ambulance simulator being handcrafted currently by Phelps EMS Training Director Jeff Meade. There's also a cadaver lab! The manequins you can perform a complete interactive ACLS scenario or many other simulated situations utililizing real equipment on.

Now, if only Phelps Hospital started offering their own, daytime Paramedic program. It would be a tremendous asset to those wanting to become Paramedics in the Hudson Valley area.

There's an open house September 29th, I HIGHLY reccomend to all in the EMS Community to go and check it out! You'll never want to get your EMS Education elsehwere.

On Saturday, September 29, 2007 from 1-4 pm, the public is invited to celebrate
the official opening of the new 100,000 square-foot Medical Services Building at
Phelps Memorial Hospital Center in Sleepy Hollow.

Speeches and a ribbon cutting ceremony begin at 1:30 pm, followed by tours of the $10 million building in which several of the hospital's busiest services will be located. Of special interest are the Frank and Lisina Hoch Center for Emergency Education and the Outpatient Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Department.

The opening event includes fire engines and ambulances that young visitors can explore and light refreshments for all. Residents of the entire area served by Phelps, as well as emergency medical personnel from the surrounding region, are encouraged to come see how Phelps is growing to better serve the community.

Phelps' Emergency Training Center was originally established two decades ago and has provided nearly 30,000 training sessions to emergency first responders
throughout Westchester County and beyond. In the new 7,000 square-foot Frank and Lisina Hoch Center for Emergency Education, EMTs, firefighters and healthcare
providers will have access to the same type of simulation technologies that
pilots use to build critical emergency experience.For example, one training room
is the actual interior of an ambulance where EMTs treat life-like computerized
mannequins programmed to display physical symptoms such as constricted airways, rise and fall of the chest, and breath sounds. The "patient" responds to the
treatment administered, giving the student immediate feedback as to whether the
treatment was correct. "Just as an airline pilot learns to handle emergencies in
the air by training on a flight simulator," explains Jeff Meade, Director of the
Center, "students and practitioners at our Center can learn how to safely handle
crises they may not see every day. When they do see these situations, they will
know exactly how to respond because they have trained for them on the simulator.
Ultimately this type of training will save lives."

The new Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Department offers outpatients physical and occupational therapy in a spacious, state-of-the-art facility. Exercise equipment is surrounded by a carpeted "track," and there are large private treatment rooms
for therapy sessions. Patients recovering from stroke are able to practice
activities of daily living in an "apartment" that includes a true-to-life
kitchen and bathroom with handicapped features. The new facility features the
Kathryn W. Davis Therapeutic Pool and Aquatherapy Center, which adds a new
dimension to the rehab service at Phelps.

Other services that will find a new home in the building include the Wound Healing Institute, IV Infusion Center, Diabetes and Endocrine Center for Children & Young Adults, Phelps Counseling Center and Blood Donor Services.A further cause for celebration is the opening of a new 750-space parking garage. Phelps is able to offer patients and visitors plenty of parking - and it's free!

Keith And Hudson

Today, I had the oppurtunity to visit my longtime friend, Westchester County Police Officer Keith McCartney, who's assigned to the Special Operations Dvision as a Mounted Police Officer. Keith and I worked together at Empress EMS, County Police, and 60 Control. Many know Keith as "624".

I happened to be driving through Ardsley, and saw a lot of activity at Ashford Park, including horses and the WCPD chopper. So, I decided to stop by, hoping that Officer Chris Lieberman was there with the chopper, or Keith with the mounted unit.

Well, Chris decided to enjoy this beauftiful day and fly tonight, and Officer Barry Silverman was giving the public a tour of the helicopter. But, Keith and Hudson were taking full advantage of the beautiful weather. I must say it's awesome to see County Police have a Mounted Unit. It really is a great addition to a Law Enforcement agency such as County Police to have. Their horses are beautiful. And I was very proud to see my longtime friend atop that horse. He earned it.
I would have never believed you if you told me that County Police would have a mounted unit, and Keith would be a part of it 10 years ago. They've certainly come a long way in 10 years! I admire County Police and their staff for being so progressive. What's old is new again, and better then ever!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Seinfeld Moves To 5PM EST On TBS!!

Well, yesterday, I went to watch my two Seinfeld episodes at 6PM, like I do almost every weekday evening (sadly), and I look foward to it.

So, when I turned on the TV, and saw possibly one of my most hated shows on.....I shudder even saying it...."Friends", I was curious and hoping it was just a temporary shuffle for when they have the Atlanta Braves game one.

After a little investigating, it seems TBS has moved the Seinfeld block to 5PM. I liked it where it was. Oh well, thankfully I have Tivo and am able to adjust my TV viewing schedule quite easily.

They call themselves the funny channel. This move isn't funny to me! Thanks Ted Turner! (Grrrr!)


"Why Don't You Just Say The Name Of The Movie?"

Monday, September 10, 2007

My First Trip To Phoenix, AZ

This weekend, I took my first trip to Phoenix, AZ. Really nice city, and some very interesting apparatus and concepts.

Scottsdale (Snotsdale) was a really nice area!!!

In the Valley, they even have In-N-Out and plenty of Chipolte Mexican Grill locations to keep me full and satisfied. However, I must say that after LA and this, I'm actually a little In-N-Out/Chipolte burnt out right now.

70 of the photos from my 2 day trip can be seen here:

Stayed at the Santuary on Camelback Mountain. What an awesome resort!!!! Probaly one of the nicest, most unique hotels I've ever been to.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Out Of Towners NYPD Welcome To NYC

So, my wife's cousins, ages 7, 14, and 17 came to town from Colorado with their mother to watch NY Baseball as their combined birthday gifts a few weeks ago.

After a nighttime Yankees game, they catch a cab back to their hotel room in Manhattan. During the trip, the cab becomes involved in an accident in a sketchy dark neighborhood in the Bronx.

The cab driver gets into an intense verbal altercation with the other driver, while they remain in the car, and after several minutes a cop shows up.

With the cab being undriveable, the cabbie informs my family that he's unable to get them to their destination. So, here they are, in the middle of some scary South Bronx neighboorhod, and no other cabs are coming by.

So, my aunt asks the cop on scene how she could safely get her and her boys back to their hotel room. The cops has major attitude and sounds annoyed and says "It's not my problem". So she asks where she can get another cab. He points and directs her three blocks in another direction, but cautions her that she'll probaly get mugged on the way and might not get a cab for a while. She asks about a bus or subway, but the cop says he doesn't ride the bus or subway, so he doesn't know. So she asks if the cop can take her to a safer location or to the hotel, which wasn't too far away. He again states that it's not his problem, gets into the car, and leaves. The other driver of the vehicle that hit the cab leaves.

So, finally, the cab driver calls his cousin, who doesn't speak a word of english, and he comes in his own personal, beaten down station wagon and drives them back to the hotel.
I mean, what was wrong with that cop?

I know complaints are often filed against Police Officers because of bogus things, but this guy definetly deserves some discipline and training on what being a police officer is all about. Leaving 3 kids and a woman from out of town alone in the middle of the Bronx. Real nice guy.
Just wondering what others thoughts are on this situation?

Intermunicipal Sharing of Police Services Considered

I'm for this. There's no reason why there needs to be so many small, fragmented departments in one town. It used to be that the Police Officers in these Villages were from the Communties, and knew the residents and village inside and out. Today, not so much. There's no reason, in my opinion, why there needs to be a highly paid command structure for each department, each department needs their own fleet, etc. It's duplication of resources. Money can be saved, and applied to putting more officers and supervisors on the street. The current Police stations can act as precincts. This would also benefit officers, as it would allow them more advancment oppurtunity and being able to change once in a while from patrolling the same small village to a different beat. It would also centralize communications and allow for better allotment of resources.

The same should also be studied to address the multiple, fragmented fire districts in the town for the same reasons.

Duplication of resources costs taxpayers money.

As the Town Board liaison to the Greenburgh Police Department’s Community
Advisory Board, I met several weeks ago with Dobbs Ferry village and police
officials to discuss the possibility of conducting a study on the benefits of
sharing services between police departments. The study would not cost
Greenburgh taxpayers, as New York State has grant money available for this
study. We think it is beneficial to conduct this study while grant money is
available to pay for it. A study previously done that looked at
consolidating the police departments in Dobbs Ferry and in Irvington suggested
the villages could each save over $1 million per year. We are hopeful this same
taxpayer savings could be realized with the sharing of services with the
Greenburgh Police Department. The crime rate in Greenburgh is at its lowest
point in recorded history. If sharing services could provide a cost savings to
the entire town, as well as increase public safety, we need to explore this
possibility. I will continue to update you as we move forward. Please feel
free to call (993-1544) or email with any questions or comments.

Eddie Mae Barnes, Councilwoman Town of Greenburgh

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

"The Academy" Premieres Tonight At 8PM On My9NY

Heads up, "The Academy" premieres tonight at 8PM on Channel 9 (NY Metro Area). Full review here on x635: The Blog tommorow.

The Academy
Episode 1
"Black Monday"
60 mins.

Day 1 (“Black Monday”) of the L.A. Sheriff's Department 18-week recruit-training regimen is when “hell breaks loose,” says training officer Dwight Miley---as a recruit seen drifting off in class discovers. Later, recruits must do push-ups in business suits and recite the department's core values from memory, and a flustered recruit breaks down. Bad move. “There is no crying in this job,” barks Sgt. Mark Wilkins, the training director.

The Hartsdale Barnes & Noble Pumpkin

Well, yesterday morning I passed by the now-vacant Barnes & Noble on South Central Ave. in Hartsdale. And boy, was I suprised. It was being painted in a very festive orange and black.

Now, since there wasn't any signs posted, and the "for lease" sign is still up, I'm assuming it's going to be a Halloween costume store- although I don't understand why they would invest that much money into paint for a couple of months, although it does make the building really, really stand out as you can see.