The New York City Fire Department Hockey Team is a not-for-profit organization comprised of Firefighters, Officers, and members who donate their time and efforts to raise funds to support our team, as well as, the charities we help support throughout the year.
Our beginning was in 1968, where the Harlem Rink Rats (16th Battalion) skated against The Bronx Bums (14th Battalion). Three of those members, Tim Gallagher, Ed McLoughlin and Gene Scott organized the Department’s first Ice Hockey team. Additional players in the following five years skated against semi-pro, college, and teams from Buffalo, Boston and Hoboken Fire Departments. In the winter of 1974, the first game against the NYPD was played at the Abe Stark Arena in Coney Island, NY.
We now compete in charity events and tournaments worldwide. Some of the events we have competed in are the Southern Ontario Firefighters Hockey Tournament, the World Police – Fire Games including Stockholm Sweden, Vancouver Canada, Colorado Springs Colorado and Belfast, Ireland. We have also competed in tournaments in Boston, Florida, Las Vegas, Washington DC, Atlanta, California, Cleveland, Connecticut, Alaska and Canada; helping to raise money for various charities.
In 1996, Lt. Mike Rossidis established the FDNY “King of the Ice” Firehouse Tournament. Coordinated by FDNY Captains John Fortunato, and Patrick Cleary, this tournament, now going into its 18th year, is the “World’s Largest Firehouse Hockey Tournament” with participation of 96 Firehouse teams.
In 2009, team member Firefighter Derek Kern established the first ever “King of the Wheels” FDNY Roller Hockey tournament. This event brought firefighters from firehouses throughout the city into roller rinks for a battle on wheels. This tournament is now going into its fifth year.
Former Team Secretary, Stephen Doyle and the FDNY Hockey Team founded the Teddy Bears That Care Program in February 2001. As it grew in size it became its own 501(c) 3 not-for-profit charity. Through the seemingly small gesture of putting a Teddy Bear That Cares into their hands, we bring comfort, love, friendship, and a smile to a child. These are children who have experienced a loss, injury, or a traumatic situation. Over 26,700 Teddy Bears have been distributed to children across the United States and Canada since February 2001. Some of the charities and organizations we have supported are the UFA Widows and Children’s Fund, UFOA Scholarship Fund, Wounded Warriors, Greystone Programs, National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, FDNY Annual Widow and Children’s Skating Event, Thomas Elsasser Memorial Scholarship Fund, New York State Fallen Fighters Memorial, The Center for Campus Fire Safety (CCFS), American Diabetes Association, and the ALS Association of Greater New York.
We also donate team merchandise throughout the year to various charities and organizations.
Bill Kammerer – General Manager
Capt. John Fortunato – Manager
Lt. Tom Reno – Coach
Pete Gillespie – Assistant Coach
Frank Heal – Secretary