Saturday, November 16, 2019

Historical Portraits of the FD: Chief Bob Checco Photo Gallery

There is rarely a Bocce Ball tournament or a retired FD members' meeting that you will not find beloved patriarch Chief Bob Checco - a legendary treasure trove of priceless stories and photographic portraits about many of the retired firefighters of New York.  Thanks to his remarkable memory and a vault of never-before-published photos spanning decades and generations of firefighters, we can all enjoy looking back in FD history as far back as his probie years when he snapped that first shot in 1958.

To date, so many look to Chief Checco as one of the living gatekeepers of FD stories about so many of our city's heroes.  His life-long career in the fire department carries a legacy that started in 1958 in Engine 259/ Long Island City.   He became a Lieutenant in 1966, made Captain in 1976 and then became Acting Battalion chief (ABC) in 1977 in the FD Buildings Unit.  Most of his children followed in his footsteps in city service starting with his son-in law Lt. Frankie Manetta who joined the FD in 1977 and son Ff. Jimmy Checco and drew a third generation that brought in grandsons Ff. Tommy Checco and Ff. Mike Manetta.  NYC public service in the family also extends to the NYPD which included PO Joe Checco and PO Danny Manetta.

Click all thumbnail images to enlarge and post your comments on any photo that you may recognize.  Visit Gallery Link (part 1) - We would love to hear from you!

NYCRA, the First Responders Health Resource and the AngioFoundation invites you to join this exclusive tour of the fire department through the lens of Chief Checco as he shares some of the most priceless memories and powerful portraits of his family, his friends and the community of firefighters of the City of New York.  We are blessed to witness Chief Checco's collection of images and accurate depictions of each moment captured on film while he describes some of the finer details about the many first responders in the upcoming photo memoirs (to be published soon).

"This is the most comprehensive collection of images taken of my generation in the department.  Where each day was a true honor to be with every firefighter (doing the best job in the world), going through these memories really makes looking back an enjoyable journey.  Chief Checco single-handedly captured & memorialized each precious moment that no other photographer could ever have access to.  He went from firehouse to firehouse to snap both candid and official photos including all the special events, official graduations and the city hall meetings.  The family photos were also most endearing, watching some of our unit leaders growing up and into the job.   For all the active and retired firefighters, each of those moments, those faces and those stories are the greatest gift!" - 
(Ret) Firefighter SALVATORE "SAL" BANCHITTA from Engine 316 of the 49 Battalion.


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