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Dan Kozak

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Lieutenant Dan Kozak, USCG (ret.) was a Merchant Marine “between 1946 and 1986, serving 12 years about federally-owned vessels, ranging in civil service ranks from Apprentice Seaman to Captain.  Some 22 years of that was a on a NYC Fireboats, 18 of which was in the uniformed rank of Pilot (a promotion from Fireman 1St Grade).  Between 1954 and 9157 he was a NYC Correction Officer.   He retired from the USCG(R) in 1990 as a Lieutenant, after serving in several port security billets and also a stint aboard the USCG Cutter RELIANCE as the ship’s Intelligence Officer.”  Lieutenant Dan Kozak is the author of Ice Fire: N.Y. Harbor: What Happened Beneath The Verrazano Bridge.

Lieutenant Colonel Me. Earl, USMC(R) (Associate Editor, The Officer, 8/2007) said of Ice Fire: N.Y. Harbor: What Happened Beneath The Verrazano Bridge, “When a drug-smuggling freighter and a Russian tanker loaded with liquefied natural gas (LNG) collide in New York City’s busy harbor, all of Manhattan is at the mercy of terrorism and fire. In his novel Ice Fire: What Happened beneath the Verrazano Bridge, Dan Kozak blends disturbing realism with a psychic twist. The novel’s main events are a “what if ” based on the 1973 fiery collision in New York Harbor between the underway container ship SS Sea Witch and the heavily loaded oil tanker SS Esso Brussels.

The Verrazano Bridge almost burned down, and 31 crewmembers had to be rescued by a NYC fireboat. Suppose instead that the tanker had been filled with LNG, super cooled for maritime transport, but highly volatile when abruptly exposed to the atmosphere. Mr. Kozak weaves this “what if” with other actual cataclysmic events that have occurred.”

ICE FIRE: N.Y. Harbor: What Happened Beneath The Verrazano Bridge (Portrait of an LNG Tragedy)
Dan Kozak  More Info

About the New York City Fire Department

Following the Revolutionary War, the Department was reorganized and incorporated as the Fire Department of the City of New York. The volunteer Fire Department continued to protect the lives and property of the citizens of the city until after the close of the Civil War when, in 1865, they were superseded by the paid Metropolitan Fire Department. The change created resentment and bitter actions were taken by some who opposed the elimination of the volunteers. This resulted in rough and tumble battles fought on both personal and political levels.

The introduction of the steam engine spelled the final doom of the volunteer department in New York. The steam apparatus eliminated the need for men to pump the water, and the horses ended the problem of hauling engines by hand.

First Company of paid Fire Department to go "in service" was Engine Co. 1, located in lower Manhattan at 4 Centre Street. Apparatus was horse-drawn Amoskeag steam-powered pumper which was same type issued to later companies. Wheels were steel rimmed.  At the beginning, the paid fire service extended only to certain parts of New York City (Manhattan). The Act of 1865 united Brooklyn and New York (cities) to form a Metropolitan District. By the end of 1865 the department consisted of 13 Chief Officers and 552 Company Officers and firemen. They worked a continuous tour of duty, with 3 hours a day for meals and one day off a month. They were paid salaries according to their rank or grade. The first regulations were also formulated and they were fairly strict and straight laced.

The volunteers, despite their disappointment, accepted the decision and publicly declared that they would continue to function and serve until properly relieved by paid units. The Act provided that members of the volunteers were to be given preference over all others in filling the rolls of the paid department.

Due to major fires, which resulted in excessive fire losses and a rise in insurance rates, the department was reorganized in 1866 under the command of General Alexander Schaler. Under military discipline, the department began to realize its full potential and fire losses began to generally reduce.



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