When Brooklyn had its own Fire Department

Gary Urbanowicz, former executive director of the New York City Fire Museum and author of the books “The Last Alarm” and “Badges of the Bravest,” was the guest speaker at Brooklyn Borough Hall for the March meeting of the Society of Old Brooklynites.

Patti Murphy, Dr. Fred Monderson and Gary Urbanowicz. Eagle Urban Media/Photo by Ted General

Urbanowicz is a highly respected historian on all facets of firefighting and the apparatus. His focus at the meeting was on the history of the old City of Brooklyn Fire Department. In addition, this Brooklyn native is an honorary FDNY assistant fire chief and does a frequent podcast called “Throwback FDNY” for the Fire Museum, which is located at 278 Spring St. in Manhattan.

An old-time fire engine. Photo courtesy of Facebook

Urbanowicz was greeted at the meeting by Society President Dr. Fred Monderson. Also in attendance was the new NYC Fire Museum Executive Director Patti Murphy.

Inside the New York City Fire Museum. Photo courtesy of Facebook


Here’s your opportunity to help support Brooklyn’s 117th American Independence Day Parade by attending the 2024 Parade Kickoff Fund-Raising Party on Saturday, April 13 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Greenhouse Cafe, 7717 Third Ave.

The bash includes live performances by the powerhouse Chain Reaction Band plus drinks and a brunch buffet with more than 15 items.

Show your patriotism and passion by helping to keep the city’s oldest American Independence parade alive and heralding American freedom. Admission is $55. For reservations call Parade Chairman Sean Flanagan at 917-693-2073, or pay at the door.


Paradegoers wave Greek flags.

March 25 was the actual national celebration of Greek Independence Day. Following their annual tradition, Bay Ridge-based Dimitrios and Georgia Kaloidis Parochial School of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church on Ridge Boulevard held a small parade. It started from in front of the school along Ridge up to Third Avenue and then down 86th Street and back to the starting point in front of the school. Also participating in the parade was Brooklyn’s Hellenic Classical Charter School.

Students carry the banner of Brooklyn’s Hellenic Classical Charter Schools.

On Sunday, April 14, the 86th annual Greek Independence Day Parade, the largest in the nation, will take place along Fifth Avenue from 64th Street to 79th Street in Manhattan. George Logothetis is the grand marshal.

The DGK Greek School Band on Third Avenue. Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Ted General

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