Tag Archives: close call

Fire Nerd: Pat Coghlan

Pat Coghlan reflects on the propane explosion that occurred on December 27, 1983 in downtown Buffalo - claiming the lives of five Buffalo Firefighters

Meet retired Lt. Patrick Coghlan from the Buffalo Fire Department, a 34-year veteran of the fire service. Like many firefighters, Patty, as his friends refer to him, is a real character with a bit of a crusty exterior — but when you peel that away — you find a big guy with an even bigger heart and a very special fondness for telling stories and preserving the rich history of the fire service.

A self-proclaimed “nerd” for the fire service (a real “two-hander” as he says), Pat is the Vice President of the Buffalo Fire Historical Society and a hoarder of fire memorabilia. A buff’s buff, Pat has passed down his love for the fire service to his daughter Margaret, the museum’s secretary.

Pat Coghlan is the son of a Buffalo firefighter and a nurse. Like me, he kept a journal of the calls he responded to – except his log starts even before he was a firefighter, chronicling fires and calls that he buffed and took photos at. He buffed 210 runs in 1964 alone.

Appointed to the Buffalo Fire Department in October 1965, his class was the last class appointed for the creation of a new company: Ladder 16. Fresh out of the academy, Pat was first assigned at Ladder 3 on Spring Street where he served as a tiller man. He served as the driver for Chief Harvey Supple from 1969 to 1976. From there he went to Engine 21 and was appointed lieutenant in 1978. Read more of this post

Chasing Fire: Nick Martin

By: Nicholas Martin – for www.runtothecurb.com
Firefighter – Washington DC Fire & EMS and Run-to-the-Curb type kid


Download, Print and Distribute the Complete Story:
Run To The Curb-NickMartin

I started as a volunteer when I was 14 years old in my hometown of Swarthmore, PA (just outside Philadelphia).  My older brother was a volunteer and I used to hang-out at the firehouse all the time from when I was as young as I can remember. Before I could even join, I used to run up to the firehouse to open the doors when they got a run.  We lived minutes from the city and my Dad would take me into Philly on the weekends to buff fires.

A few years before I joined, my older brother left the house to respond to an apartment fire at 52 South Morton Road.  From listening on my crystal-based scanner I could tell it was a “good” fire.  My mother was curious too and she came to my room to see what was going on.  Learning it was a serious fire, she drove us to watch the fire (and check-up on my brother).   Read more of this post

RttC Kid: Nick Martin

Nick Martin, Firefighter and Run-to-the-Curb Kid

Nick Martin has served as a career/volunteer firefighter in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia; and currently serves in the District of Columbia.

He is a frequent presenter and trainer with www.tradtionstraining.com and is an author of articles dedicated to making us better and safer at what we do. 

Join Nick and Tiger on Firefighter Storytellers on the FirefighterNetcast.com Radio Network at 9pm on Thursday-October 14, 2010.

And check back soon after the show for Nick Martin’s complete story aptly titled: “Chasing Fire.” Read more of this post

I remember my first time…

I just got home from drill night at the fire station a few minutes ago. It was a good drill. Our Captain started out with basic run card assignments for first and second out apparatus, depending on if we were going to a mutual aid or if it was our own “original” work.

He did a good job of covering assignments and there was good interaction amongst the group that included everyone from Explorers to Firefighters with 35+ years of experience, and everything in between. It lead into a presentation and discussion of minimum staffing for our volunteer department, including a video depicting the importance of a well coordinated attack on a heavily involved fire. Read more of this post

Fifteen years ago; in a land far, far away…

I’ve been blessed to have some widely varied and very interesting experiences in my almost 30 years in the fire service.

Serving as a co-founder and managing editor of The Fire Fighter Newspaper for seven years was one of the most rewarding and eye-opening experiences I’ve ever had.

Here’s a link to a story about one of those experiences that reminds us all that while we may be a world a part — the fire service has the unique ability to bring us all together.

From www.tigerschmittendorf.com:

Fifteen years ago; in a land far, far away…

Great Story: The day I didn’t die