FDNY Haz Mat Unit

Several fire truck builders and equipment suppliers made donations to the FDNY after 9/11 to help replace the devastating loss. I visited New York City to photograph several of these units after they’d been delivered. One was this FDNY Haz Mat unit built and donated by Pierce on a four-door Kenworth chassis.

If you’ve ever been to Queens to visit the Haz Mat Company with Squad 288, you know that the house is situated on a small corner facing west. There’s an island directly in front of the squad bay, and there are cars parked everywhere.

When I visited with a friend, we arrived in the mid-afternoon to find an empty house. We went for a snack at a diner nearby while waiting for them to return … hoping that they’d be back before dark.

Fortunately, they came back within the hour and were agreeable to spot the squad for a photo. After we washed the truck, the sun was in an ideal spot for this perfectly lit image placed directly in front of their classic looking house. You can just make out the island on the right side of the frame.


Kenworth Pierce fire truck for the FDNY
This perfectly lit image of the 2nd piece for the FDNY haz mat company after 9/11 was part 1 part skill and 4 parts timing. Larry Shapiro photo

Sometimes it’s as much about luck or happenstance as it is skill … but always leave them thinking it’s the skill and planning down to the atmospheric conditions and knowledge of the earth’s rotation!