9-11-01 Remembered
By Ted Corporandy
September 11, 2001 was a tragic day for America. Many of us in the SFFD lost friends at the World Trade Center. It is a day we will never forget. On that date at approximately 0645 I was headed to Treasure Island to teach a Highrise Command class with Tom Siragusa. When events began to unfold my heart sank as I thought of my friends in FDNY, especially Andy Fredericks. I had known Andy for several years but had known of him for many more. Andy was a leader in our profession. Having read many of his articles in Fire Engineering I knew this was a guy who was at the top of his profession and someone whose influence was saving the lives of firefighters as well as civilians. We became friends due to our involvement with Fire Engineering Magazine. I had communicated with Andy about a week before 9/11 and knew he had been on disability due to bad knees, a problem he associated with the disadvantage of hiking up the numerous stairwells in Manhattan’s highrises. On that fateful morning I called my good friend and Oakland fireman, Jay Comella, another of Andy’s friends. Jay was in Manhattan visiting his girlfriend in Greenwich Village. I knew Jay would have some information for me but unfortunately it was not good. Andy returned to work from his disability status on 9/11 and became one of the 343 firemen murdered that day. Some time later Fire Engineering Magazine gave Jay and I a call and asked that we submit a tribute to our friend for a book they were publishing called Fallen Heroes, A Tribute From Fire Engineering. The Mainline has graciously allowed me to honor my friend and colleague on this anniversary by reprinting that tribute.

Our Brother Andrew Fredericks, Squad 18 FDNY
By Battalion Chief Ted Corporandy, SFFD and Fireman Jay Comella, Oakland FD
On September 11, 2001 the Fire Service lost hundreds of brothers. Among the ranks were some of the most talented firefighters and greatest leaders our profession has ever produced. Fireman Andy Fredericks was one such man. He was inspirational, dedicated and brilliant. The consummate engineman, his utmost passion was for the basic tools of our trade, hose and nozzle. His greatest concern was the most efficient use of these fundamental weapons of fire fighting. At the heart of his message was the superiority of the smoothbore nozzle over the fog nozzle. His research and study and subsequently his teaching and writing on this most basic fireground element, the nucleus around which all other operations revolve, was incredibly detailed and intricate.

Andy left us with a wealth of knowledge but it would be naïve to think any one member of the fire service could fill the void created by his loss. He touched many of us across the country through his articles, hands on training, lectures, and videos. He created many disciples of his no nonsense, back to basics approach to combating today’s ever more complicated and dangerous fire problems. Those fortunate firefighters who benefited from his instruction must carry on his work with renewed commitment. President Lincoln said in the Gettysburg Address, “…It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which, they have, thus far, so nobly carried on”. These words are fitting. Only collectively we can have the same positive effect on the Fire Service that Andy had as an individual.

Andy’s passion for his work as an author, educator, instructor, and trainer resulted in improvements in fireground operational efficiency and safety. These improvements have no doubt saved the lives of civilians as well as firefighters. This is his legacy to all of us. For those of us in the Fire Service he is a shining example of dedication, character, professionalism and love for mankind.

We have shed many tears over the loss of our brother, friend and mentor, but this is tempered by the memory of his unrelenting humor and his quick and sarcastic wit. He always kept us on our toes and he always had us laughing. Over the years tears may diminish but our memory will never fade.

To our brothers in FDNY and Squad 18 the entire Fire Service shares the burden of your grief. And to Andy’s family to whom he was so devoted and loved so much, wife Michelle and children Andrew and Haley, our thoughts and prayers will always be with you.

God Bless you Andy. Life is not the same without you.


Main Menu