Please visit the new home of Majikthise at bigthink.com/blogs/focal-point.

« More on the OSHA impersonation | Main | Spanish firefighters rescue greyhounds from well »

July 13, 2005

Not the poles!

Firepole

New York City firefighters are losing their poles:

In New York City's firehouses, veterans have a deep affection, even a zealous sense of protection, for their poles. But now, the department has begun shrinking their number sharply as it builds new firehouses and remodels old ones to bring them up to current building codes. In many cases, ventilation systems have been installed where the poles and their surrounding holes used to be. [NYT]

But not without a fight.

For a department intensely loyal to tradition, even a gentle weaning - away from, say, four poles, positioned alongside the engine and truck, to one centrally situated pole - can seem like a seismic shift to veterans, who say they must recalibrate their well-honed exit maneuvers to include a more time-consuming jaunt down a flight or two of stairs. "It's the first thing I do when I work somewhere else: find out where the pole is," said Lt. Jeff Monsen of Engine Company 23 on West 58th Street in Manhattan.

It's the end of a grand era.

Lieutenant Monsen said he had had to train every new firefighter at the house the proper way to slide: legs crossed at the ankles with the pole resting between the outer ankle joints, chin tucked to chest, and hands firm, not clenched.

As a New York City taxpayer, I feel somehow cheated.


TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c61e653ef00d83423ad0953ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Not the poles! :

» One tradition that I'm sad to see go from Pandagon
From Lindsay, it looks like New York City firefighters have to say goodbye to their poles. As the child of a firefighter, I can attest that it always impresses people to bring them to the firehouse and watch the firemen... [Read More]

» One tradition that I'm sad to see go from Pandagon
From Lindsay, it looks like New York City firefighters have to say goodbye to their poles. As the child of a firefighter, I can attest that it always impresses people to bring them to the firehouse and watch the firemen... [Read More]

Comments

That sucks bad. My dad was a firefighter for like 25 years and it was always fun to visit the station since you could count on a fireman or two showing off his pole-sliding skills. I managed to bring my boyfriend to my dad's station shortly before Dad retired and of course, my dad got another fireman to let us is so he could slide down the pole dramatically and impress my boyfriend. (And get a grin out of his daughter.) Showing off--to family members, friends, and attractive strangers--is like 75% of a firefighter's job

I am sooo envious.

Forget the war in Iraq. Now they've gone too far.

how are they going to dance?

Just for the record, the guy in the picture is from the http://www.cityofflint.com/fire/photos.asp>Flint Fire Department a fire department with a very nice photo gallery.

I couldn't find an NYFD-er on a pole. Google totally let me down. I really felt entitled, seeing as I'm SUCH A NICE GIRL and all.

Nice girls never get any firefighters. All the firefighters just wanna go for the dangerous hot jerk chicks.

Heh--yeah, I won't lie. Having a firefighter for a dad was pretty much as good as it gets. Especially when my dad did the fire safety presentation to my 3rd grade class. I was like hero for the day.

But we keep him humble. He posed once for a calender to raise money for charity--a Hot Men of the Fire Department sort of thing--and to this day we give him hell about it when he's not expecting it.

I can probably get them a good price for decent quality brass poles.

My kid's preschool class toured a fire house a year or so ago, and we commented on the absence of a sliding pole. The fireman leading the tour said it was a safety issue. For one thing, a sleepy firefighter, stumbling to the bathroom for a late-night piss, might accidentally fall through the hole.

Any truth to the rumor that the poles are being recycled for use by strippers?

The comments to this entry are closed.