Is Spiderman needed when you can just open a window? Another FDNY – NYPD ESU rift.

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September, 2011 FDNY – ESU incident at Brooklyn motorcycle crash

Bill Carey with more on the risk management of this incident at

I am sure many of you recall the video we showed you last September of the attempted rescue of a motorcyclist trapped under a car in Brooklyn when the hydraulic spreaders in the hands of a member of the NYPD Emergency Services Unit didn’t do the trick and the car came crashing down? This occurred while firefighters were attempting to use an air bag to lift the car (click here). Now Bill Carey at has come up with a new example of FDNY and ESU sometimes working at cross purposes.

It happened yesterday during a partial scaffolding collapse on East 66th Street in Manhattan. ESU had a police officer rappel off the roof to reach the trapped workers. FDNY handled it in a different way. They opened a window and let the men and the police officer inside the building.

According to WNBC-TV, one of the workers thanked ESU Detective James Coll (interviewed in the stories below) for coming to their aid sending him an email that read, “You did the most courageous work and I really can’t thank you enough for risking your lives to save us. Thank you again and God bless you.”

Acccording to the New York Post FDNY Battalion Chief Michael Massucci had a very different view of Coll’s actions:

“I didn’t see the need for him to put himself in harm’s way,” Massucci  grumbled.

He said the Fire Department should have been in charge.

“The city protocol is that FDNY has all life, safety and rescue operations,” Massucci fumed. 

New York Times:

Chief Massucci, 48, a 22-year veteran, said firefighters wound up aiding the officer, too. They pulled him in through the same 17th-floor window because he could not climb back up the building’s facade and most likely did not have enough rope to reach the ground, the chief said.

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