Release: November 1999
Edition Quantity: 5,000
The Woodlawn Section of the Bronx was originally part of the City of Yonkers,
which included the land North of Gun Hill Road to Marble Hill. New York annexed
all the land between the Bronx River, Harlem River and the Hudson River. Before
the annexation, the Avalanche Hose Company #7 provided fire protection to this
part of Yonkers. Once annexed the City of New York did not replace the Avalanche
Hose Company and the area had no fire protection for 25 years. On July 1, 1899
Woodlawn had its own fire company; when Engine 69 was placed in service.
After World War I, Harlem's population was exploding with the extension of the
subway system and rail lines. As with any growth the demand on city services
also increased. The fire department realizing this need would have to place
another engine company in service someplace in Harlem. Because of the geography
of the area many of the existing Engine companies had long runs to reach Harlem.
Engine 69 showed it was needed in the area, therefore, it was placed in service
on permanent status on September 12, 1918.
Over the years, no matter whether in Woodlawn or Harlem, Engine 69 has been
providing the citizens of New York City with loyal fire protection. No matter
what the call is a fire, EMS, or public service Engine 69 will be ready and
willing to help for the next 100 years.
Every fire company in the City has a nickname, Engine 71 is known as the 'War
Wagon'. Back in 1967 Engine 71 had returned from a run and was backing into
quarters when someone noticed an arrow sticking out of the booster line. The
movie 'The War Wagon' staring John Wayne and Kirk Douglas was playing at the
time. This was the beginning of the 'The War Years' in the South Bronx when
everything was burning and the name 'War Wagon' stuck to Engine 71.
Engine 71 was placed in service on August 1, 1899, along with engine 70 on City
Island During the past 100 years over 400 members have passed through the doors
of engine 71. All of them have performed beyond the call of duty. Engine 71 has
been serving the citizens of the South Bronx and Melrose with dedication. No
matter what the call, a fire, broken leg or just helping a little child with a
flat tire on his bicycle, Engine 71 will be ready and willing for the next 100
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