Life Aim Achieved Pidgeon Retires
Life Aim Achieved Pidgeon Retires
By JIM KEVLIN • Particular for www.AllOTSEGO.com
“The Darkish Horse Hearth,” Oneonta’s retired Hearth Chief Pat Pidgeon instantly responded when requested in regards to the worst fireplace he has confronted in 36 years with OFD.
Pidgeon was strapped to the fireplace engine booster seat when he arrived round 5 a.m. on March 1, 1992, at 18 Market St.
“There was an explosion,” he mentioned. He regarded over his shoulder. “A beam exploded and landed on a line of automobiles. I knew it was going to be a protracted night time.
The positioning was what’s now this parking zone positioned a couple of buildings east of the Inexperienced Earth Pure Meals Market. The adjoining constructing JJ Maloney, a sweet dispenser at 12-14 Market, was additionally on fireplace.
Pidgeon and Bobby Russo, his crew captain and brother of Hearth Chief Francis “Cootie” Russo, put in a 2½-inch hose at as we speak’s Cooper Fox fireplace hydrant behind Clinton Plaza .
“I bear in mind the blue flames of all of the alcohol burning,” he recollects.
At one level, as the fireplace appeared very near a close-by condo constructing, he and Russo pounded on the doorways of the condo buildings within the condo constructing, waking the scholars and defending them with their shields as the women hurried to decorate. protected.
This constructing was saved and remains to be pupil lodging as we speak.
He realized so much that day: first, he drove a Bobcat for the primary time; second, he participated in his first investigation; third, he utilized classes of arduous work to childhood.
“When you have got work to do, you have got work to do,” he says. “That is how we had been introduced up.”
Lastly leaving the scene at 6 pm, 12 hours after his arrival, “I used to be coated with a layer of ice,” he mentioned. “I walked into the fireplace station, went upstairs and bought right into a scorching bathe to take off my coat. The clips had been frozen.
Because the ninth member of the Pidgeon clan to hitch the firefighters, his future profession has at all times been part of his life.
On the age of 10, he was skating on Hodge Pond in Neahwa Park on February 12, 1974, when a D&H prepare derailed in Emmons and one of many tankers blew up. “I may see it shining within the sky,” he mentioned.
He referred to as his mom, Marlene, on a pay telephone, and he or she informed him to rush residence to Monroe Avenue, close to Heart Road Faculty, a Pidgeon household enclave. His father and two uncles had been on the scene when the tanker exploded.
Uncle Ronnie had his melted rubber coat behind his again. Her father and uncle Joe had been in hospital, handled for accidents and launched that night time.
Ron and Joe and his cousin Jeff had been captains of the OFD – the division is split into 4 crews, every with a captain – and his father Charles, Uncle Herbie had been captains within the fireplace division name, the place the Herb’s son, Brett, additionally served. Chief Michael’s brother served within the appeals division, as did cousin Ronnie Emmett.
Different Pidgeons had been energetic within the Explorer place of the Boy Scouts, a subsidiary of OFD.
However the chef, whose final day of labor was on February 12 – he’s entitled to trip pay and different intervals till the tip of March – additionally has fond recollections.
He remembers the division’s summer time clambake, when Uncle Ronnie drove to the New York docks within the wee hours of the morning and introduced again 8-10 burlap sacks containing 1,000 clams every. He would be part of the boys rubbing the clams in an inclined trough, the youngest on the backside.
Pidgeon graduated from OSH in 1982 and drove for North American Van Strains and Schuman’s till March 21, 1985 when he joined OFD’s appeals service.
With Frank Russo, the son of the chef (now director of Household Y), he joined the skilled OFB in 1988.
There have been 20 energetic firefighters on the time, cut up into 4 groups, plus 8-10 staff to fill and 30-40 name firefighters, about 20 who had been “pretty energetic”.
Staffing is about the identical as it’s now, though calls have elevated from 1,200 per 12 months in 1988 to three,600 as we speak.
From the beginning, he mentioned in an interview, he meant to be a chef. “I assumed I may do it,” he mentioned, absorbing all of the coaching supplied and finding out the civil service exams that will get him there.
Within the fall of 2003, he was appointed captain, incomes a spot in FLIP Faculty, the frontline officer program at Fort Totten, Queens, together with 57 different officers, together with 20 from the upstate.
The numbers “4 and a pair of” have caught with him. In New York Metropolis, 4 engines and two vans reply each name. In Oneonta, “4 and a pair of” means “4 firefighters on an engine and two on a truck,” he mentioned.
“We’re doing with six guys it took 100 guys to recover from there,” he mentioned.
On the finish of 2009, Chief Robert Barnes retired and Captain Pidgeon achieved his life’s objective on January 1, 2010.
Throughout his profession, the most important change within the position of OFD is the event of the EMT workforce: “75 % of what we do now’s ambulance and EMS. Everybody should have a twin position, be skilled in a flexible method. “
In 1992, he was one of many division’s first “intensive care technicians”. Now, all firefighters endure coaching in a number of levels, from the primary responder to the paramedic, the height.
As to why he is retired now, at age 55, Pidgeon mentioned, “I hated politics,” and it wore him out. He was notably disheartened when the Joint Council canceled funding for his put up as deputy chief a couple of months in the past.
Now he plans to “take pleasure in life” along with his longtime important different, Judy Candy. However his legacy is bound.
Her eldest son, Ryan, 30, is a firefighter with the Nationwide Institutes of Well being in Maryland and a volunteer firefighter with the Hyattsville Division.
Her 28-year-old son Matthew lives in Unadilla and, like his father, drives vans for Schuman.
To mark their father’s retirement, they introduced him with a flag fluttering aboard Marine One on September 30 over Washington DC, “in honor of Hearth Chief Patrick W. Pidgeon for his 36 years of loyal service. and honorable to the Oneonta Hearth Division ”.
Crucial factor for his boss is that he has achieved his predominant objective: “To verify the boys go residence to their households on the finish of the day.”