Command Fire Apparatus’ Glenn Usdin took a tour of the FDNY’s fleet maintenance facility this month, with some great shots of what goes into keeping the nation’s largest fire service fleet on the road. Browse Gallery Below
They service and repair all of the rolling stock of our nations largest fire department. That includes pumpers, aerials, tower ladders, rescues, hazmat units, ambulances, chief and staff vehicles, service and fuel trucks and any other special units. In NYC only the police and sanitation departments have more vehicles. 350 people take care of the fleet.
They have over 4 million dollars in parts from the three builders, KME, Ferrara and Seagrave. Preventive maintenance is done on each rig on days that the units are out of service for members physicals or daylong training.
A light duty member will pick up the unit at 9:00 AM and bring it to the shops and they hope to get it back to quarters for the night tour at 6:00 PM. These PM’s are done at a satellite facility. Repairs and acceptance of new units take place at this main facility in Long Island City. There are also a number of field service vehicles that do minor repairs in quarters as well as a tire unit and A/C service vehicle that work in the field.
FDNY rebuilds transmissions and radiators here and engines at another shop. Bodywork is sent out. There were at least 40 units being repaired at one time. All of these were covered with spare units. New vehicles can be in front line service for 10 years and 364 days before they must be replaced. At times there are less than 10 spare units available in the entire city. The Fleet Maintenance staff does an incredible job of tracking every unit. They have a replacement schedule that goes many years in the future.
When new rigs arrive they do thorough testing before they accept them. Even with hundreds of units they go over every item before they accept them. There was a new Seagrave Tower Ladder 120 and Ferrara rear mount for Ladder 103 being checked out for acceptance. One historic note, shortly EVERY rear-mount in the city will be a Ferrara and there will be no Seagrave rear mount aerials in frontline service.
This will be the first time there are no Seagrave rear mounts in service since the 1970’s. There are still a number of Seagrave rear mounts in the spare fleet.
They keep complete aerial ladder assemblies and swap out the entire ladder if there are repairs needed. They send them back in batches to the original builders to be refurbished and sent back.
One special project that was the pride of the shops is the in house refurbishment of a Seagrave pumper to be the official FDNY funeral caisson. This unit has been rebuilt from frame up with new engine and transmission, all new glass and trim, new paint and decals and an electric powered coffin lift. The men working on this were extremely proud of this project. They’ve even installed a chrome plated Stang nozzle.
A remarkable place that keeps our nations largest department in service.