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A career-volunteer battle in The Bronx. Aviation VFD says it will defy FDNY & continue responding despite arrest threat.

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Chief Romeo Toro has told the New York Daily News the Aviation Volunteer Fire Department will continue to respond to jobs in and near the Classon Point neighborhood of The Bronx, despite the possibility of arrest. AVFD, which has been around since 1923, has had financial problems in the past and only recently began operating again.

FDNY told Aviation to butt out after a confrontation at a bus accident on the Brunkner Expressway last Thursday. NYPD ended up detaining the chief and one of his lieutenants for 25 minutes.

Despite a very clear letter from FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano Chief Toro told the Daily News, "Yes, we will risk arrest". The chief says he will only listen to an order from the mayor or the Office of Prevention and Control.

More from John Doyle's article in the New York Daily News:

“We hereby demand that AVFD immediately cease its operations and discontinue making any representations that AVFD is authorized by the City of New York or the FDNY to provide emergency medical and firefighting services,” he (Cassano) wrote.

The volunteers are “operating without the proper training, equipment and authorizations” and are endangering the public and city firefighters, Cassano added.

“The FDNY has advised its field personnel to prohibit AVFD from operating and to contact law enforcement if necessary,” he wrote.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • RJ (in florida)

    good lord just what NYC needs a vollie vs FDNY war. there are plenty of dedicated vollies in the city and i hope they can work this out before it gets real ugly

  • Fire21

    Seems to me if they're not wanted that badly, then they should stop.
    But, if they are physically so close that they might even beat FDNY on scene, then maybe FDNY could consider working with them to provide some cooperation that would provide adequate training and authorizations.  I realize that FDNY can't and shouldn't provide equipment.  But, when it comes to education, it's not too difficult to "share the wealth".
    I'm just sayin, we all complain about under-educated firefighters.  Here's one opportunity to walk the walk.

  • PatPat

    go volly …go,,,I have been a USMC aviation firefighter for 10 years and now am a volley for a small town..beleive it or not some of us know what we are doing. Hearing DC wine abput their uniforms wants to make me puke!     If it is done right.. f them

    • KidKrazy

      Please PatPat it has way more to do than the 5 uniform changes in a year here in DC…How would you like to go from a 24/72 shift to a 3-3-3, 3 consective 12hr day shifts, followed by 3 consective 12 night shifts, with 3 days off…..? Not to mention the blantent non heart attitude the cheif is showing toward  other issues in the department.

  • FMCH

    Gee Pat, just imagine if some person wanted to get rid of the Eagle,Globe,and Anchor. Me thinks you'd not have the same response. So, the brothers and sisters are rightfully upset over getting rid of a big part of their tradition. It's a retaliatory move by LRB. However, you're entitled to your opinion, no matter how misguided.

  • Anonymous

    Ther AVFD got a serious black eye after thousands of dollars in donated funds disappeared.  They responded to the WTC on 9/11 and their rig got damaged.  There was press coverage about them and donations started pouring in.  The got money, equipment, even a rig donated to them.  Within a couple years it was all gone, and no one could say where it went.
    Hopefully, whoever is running that place now has nothing to do with their past.

  • PatPat

    fmch….my issue is not with the symbol but the attitude.  My Eagel Globe and Anchor will live for ever but the Marine Corp attitude may change . Pro fire fighters are my heros, when I hear them wine like little girls I get angry. I, as a volly am well trained, experienced and equiped. My 19 yr old son is a volley, my wife is an emt, when our pager sounds we run. The pro,s need to realize we are their origin and we back them. When they cry about simple sht it is hard to do that. In 75 % of our country we are the front line. You city boys need to wake up and find out that you are only 25%…

    • PATOVA

      you vollies may be 75% in numbers across the country but the career side protects 90% of the nations population.  statistics are funny that way.

  • Bob Bob

    Hey PatPat,  I am one of those whining DCFD guys  and also a Vet, oh yea and I started as a Volly 17 years ago and still do today.  You don't work in DC and you have no damn idea what is going on in my place of employment, so until you are 100% informend I'll kindly ask you to keep your opinions to yourself.  That being said, the press in DC has not given a whole picture of all the circumstances surrounding the protests of the firemen,  There is alot of unfair treatment and silly rules being implimented to lower moral and cause firemen whom  the Chief doesnt care very much for, to pack up and leave town.   I could go on all night here but if I recall corectly  this story was about FDNY and had nothing to do with DCFD    good day!!

  • DC2

    The 25% that could pass the test…..

  • Lou

    You have to read the daily news report before making any comment . It's not paid Vs Volunteer. It's about missing money , equipment and lack of traing .

    • Oh Lord

      Par for the course for SOME of the Vollie companies…..NO ACCOUNTABILITY!

      • Proud Vollie

        please…don't begin to say that we who ansewr the call 24/7, 365 WITHOUT BEING PAID, don't have accountibility…u are the reason why there is a divide in the so called " BROTHERHOOD'…sick…

        • Oh Lord

          Proud Vollie: if you would read what I posted in CAP Letters (SOME). Being in a volunteer Ive been in the ranks from Firefighter to the Chief in the past 21 years I can say this from experience. It happens everyday from not showing your yearly expenditures, adding onto calls when not dispatched and then asking dispatch to "fill your station", to buying apparatus with every fn bell and whistle that will never be used on day to day calls. There are some very proud and proffessional volunteers but as for the 75% of Firefighters that are Vollies theres a large number that are not held accountable. In most "paid" departments if a firefighter gets reprimanded it stays in his/her file for a specific timeframe, if another infraction occurs, termination is likley and the chances of obtaining another firefighter job is bleek at best. If this happened to a volunteer (most cases) maybe 30 day suspension, not be able to hold an officers postition for a year and if they do get kicked out of the company…well "I'll just join the company in the next town or down the street". Happens all the time. So you want to talk about brotherhood…have everyone be held to the same standard. Just wont happen, if the taxpayers taxes wont go up because we have volunteers, which is a great thing, things will always be swept under the rug…no issues,no infractions, no loss of volunteer manpower, units get out the door = no accountability.  

  • Jim

    PatPat, keep telling yourself those stats and patting yourself on the back. You clearly don't understand the issues facing professional firefighters, just keep puffing your chest out. But while you are doing it, think of this little fact 15% of fire departments are career, but they protect 65% of the population. So enjoy being the bigger chunk of the fire service, I enjoy being the smaller piece, but doing a much bigger percentage of the work.
    Oh yea, in the USMC all your uniforms are issued right? So you really can't understand what is going on in DC.

    • Brian

      8 runs? Really 8 whole damn runs? I do that before lunch in 1 shift your a##! He was asleep because he went to a single family house fire? Made a good stop? Good for him……Now tell him to go to the damn gym and get in shape because we do it all the time and still run another 20 calls and multiple box alarms.
      You think you are the man because you volly? I bet you have more FD T-shirts than Gals magazine. Pat yourself on the back and go on about your business. You are the reason vollys get a bad name. People like you thinking you are better than career because you ran 8 whole runs this month. Get a grip on reality pal.
      Yeah you are right. We are brothers weather we are paid or vlly. So why don't YOU act like it and learn what it is you are talking about before you run your mouth and look like an idiot.
      Brian McAllister
      Washington DC Fire Department

  • PatPat

    I got home from work at 7:45 am. I step over my son . He is sleeping in his turnouts on the kitchen floor.  He got a house save last night. Dan and anoher kid went out at 0330 stopped a fire in an attached garage, saved the house…. I work 40 miles away and was a radio spectator. My wife was the EMT and watched her son go in. Two weeks ago she was at a triple fatel crash, when she recognised the girl she was workng on she threw up all over the squad. I know it sounds very light but I have been to 8 calls this month…. very wimpy…lol…When i log in to the net I seeDC pissing and moaning about uniforms and NYFD crying about Vollies…… why do I not feel their pain???…get a grip…COWBOY UP.
    he problem is not DC vs the world or NYFD vs us…But it is time to admit that vollies are still the mainstay.

    • Proud Vollie


    • paul

         I'm not sure what is worse, the 8 calls comment  or the sleeping in turnouts comment.  Eight calls in the same month?!?  Where do you find the endurance?  As a parent and a senior member, you should show him how to unfasten his gear or give the kid a little needed help getting undressed for bed.  USMC?!?  Was that KP, Supply, or Clerical?  I'm not leaning towards clerical duty due to your spelling.  I find it difficult to believe a combat vet or any infantryman finds such glamour and glory in this endeavour.

  • Stopbithching

    Stop bitching I'm sure if you want you can all quit and someone else will do the job…

  • Oh Lord

    G…..wait until DCFD wannabe Chief Ellerbe gets a-hold of this article. To Mayor Gray> "I believe I can finally settle this disputes with my troops…I'll be able to pay for everyone to have there offical winter uniforms by two fold.. Fire/Retire Hundreds of Firemen/Medics then authorize a  Charter for Volunteer Fire/EMS Corporations within the city. This will free up the revenue for uniforms and to rebuild our apparat  us fleet"
    -Be safe out there

  • Art of Fire

    Hey Patpat,
    Maybe you should volunteer your way down to an English Class.
    And, as already mentioned, Volunteers are the "mainstay" of a whole lot of empty land. The majority of the people in the United States are protected by career firefighters.
    That being said, it sounds like your town is lucky to have the Patpat family. Not sure how they survive without you all!

  • Jim

    How are volunteers the mainstay of the fire service? Just because there are more of them? Of course there will be, all you have to do is show up at the fire hall and get voted in by your buddies. Or is it because volunteers were around before professional firefighters? Guess you forgot why cities went to paid staffing, because its nice to have the fires put out, not have a bunch of drunk dingers brawling in the street while the whole block burns. Sorry, the fire service evolved and people wanted a higher level of service, so they went to professional firemen.

  • Anonymous

    Hey PatPay do you want a cookie your son saved a house good for him…btw saving a foundation does not count.  Your wife thew up awsome….maybe she should find another hobbie if she cant deal with dead or people that are hurt.  BTW the discussion is about FDNY not DC dumb ass.

  • JimJim

    PatPat you are full of B.S. and I do not believe a word you have written. Your here trying to ruffle feathers, that's it. Hopefully nobody (including myself) pays you anymore attention. Good night. 

  • Anonymous

    PatPat -I call shenanigans.Go Troll somewhere else.

  • PG Insight

    Maybe the Aviation VFD aren't following the rules, attempting to beat in the surrounding companies, not doing what they are supposed to be doing on the scene, running a 600 foot (yes! I said 600 feet!) attack line off their engine only to try to "take" the fire from the first due company, traveling 30 MPH over the posted speed limit going the wrong way on a one way street, letting visitors (or observers) ride AND operate on the scene, not maintaining their PPE, not wearing their PPE, falsifying training records to "elect" a new "old" chief, assulting FDNY fire fighters on incident scenes, abusing the corporations elected positions, driving a Aviation VFD owned chief's car to and from their real job, using tax payer's funds to maintain and fuel that same vehicle, buying new chief's vehicles even though they run under 10 calls a year, embezzling funds from the VFD, my fingers are getting sore, not wearing uniforms on the job, showing up to an incident scene in cut off shorts and flip-flops, creating hostile work environments for the FDNY guys, responding in their chief's cars and fire apparatus with their child(ren) on board, hazing/assulting perspective new members, refusing to take a call, letting their certification(s) lapse, reporting false personnel contact information to make it look like they live in NYC, not abiding by the NFIRS reporting rules, driving around to scope out the "chicks" at the local Bronx community college… ertc., etc., etc.
    No! Wait!  I'm sorry… that's all from my experience working for the PGFD for the last 23 or so years.  My advice for the Aviation VFD guys is this – there is NO way you can win this battle.  Impersonating a public safety official carries a real penalty. I only wish Prince George's County Fire and Police had the backing to take care of some of our "problem children"  with this type of efficiency.  Now that I'm thinking about it, this could very well be the situation in Prince George's County in about 15-20 years time.  Who will this renegade vollie company be in PG I wonder?

  • RIZZ

    Maybe you and your family need to go to KENTLAND 33. Yes sir baby, that's where all the real heroes are.

  • Anonymous

    Hey PG Insight: When is someone going to take care of the "problem children" on the career side of the fence? You know, the ones that commit felonies, beat their wives, call in false alarms, misappropriate union funds, etc., etc.  No, wait. They just keep promoting them.

  • BitchSays

    Great BLOG… Here comes my 1 cent, after being a F/F for more than twenty years, 15 as a paid F/F in DC. I have come to one conclusion. F/F's BITCH more than anyone I know, including myself.
    Lets face it Boys & Girls… We are all just a bunch of bitching, self promoting, woe is me, individuals.
    Now, I will also says this, I am PAID, I belong to LOCAL36, I do not vollie anymore, and have not for over 15 years. Not because I am paid, because I want to work, and then go home to my family.
    This is one of the issues, that I am truly TORN on, and really don't have an answer.
    Vollise are still needed in many areas. This is a great place, for many YOUTH to get a start on a futrue in firefighting.
    It is a great place for young people to be involved with something important, to help there local community, and keep themselves out of trouble.
    The issue is, when you go from vollie, to paid, then you become a hypocritical ass-hole… That is one thing I will not become!
    Most, if not a very high number of all PAID people, were vollies at one time. So, check yourself!
    As far as NEW YORK, no comment, I am not there, and don't know what is friking going on.
    As far as DC, well, from the outside, it may seem petty. BUT, on the inside, it is real… I will not go on, and on, about it. The story is to deep, and to long.
    Stay safe my Brothers and Sisters, from East to WEST… And remember, if you are a FireMan, you are a BITCH…

  • Former Chief

    Wow, did this really get off subject.  As I recall, there are several volunteer fire departments operating within the five boroughs that compromise the City of New York, all with the authorization of the FDNY.  I would suspect there is a lot more to this story and why FDNY is prohibiting their response. 
    As far as the other comments go, it never ceases to amaze me how the paid vs. volunteer thing continues.  Just think what a force the fire service could be if we all stayed together.  Over my time in the fire service (going on 37 years) I have seen good paid departments and firefighters, good volunteer departments and firefighters and some not so good on both "sides".  It really doesn't matter whether you get a paycheck or not, it's your attitude and desire to do the job.  Some areas require a career fire service for various reasons, others do not.  That doesn't make one better than the other.  The fire service, and public employees in general, are under attack by an angry, misinformed, uneducated, public.  Now is not the time for us to fight amongst ourselves, now more than ever is the time to stick together.  Some of the comments here are really disturbing.

  • Amazed

    Well said F.C.

  • Mie

    Shut down west Hamilton beach they are all bufff not fdny wannabes