n. A term used largely by FDNY members to describe fire enthusiasts. The word "buff" could also encompass enthusiasts in the professions of police, EMS, military, etc. The term is mostly used disparagingly when FDNY members are referring to civilians, volunteer firefighters and paid firefighters from other cities -the reason being is that these individuals would be the only ones to approach a firehouse/firefighters they are not familiar with & attempt to talk shop. The term is also used internally by the FDNY to refer to certain "buffy" members -but isn't used in the same condescending context as when referring to any of the aforementioned. "Buffs" are widely-known to wear fire department t-shirts, listen to scanners, search fire-related topics on the internet, often own pick-up trucks (which are almost aways equipped with "volly lights" and covered with FD decals) & are very familiar with FDNY units, procedures, jargon, etc. The word "Buff" derived from the buff colored coats worn by the NYC volunteer fire department prior to the organizing of the FDNY.
by crbgrs March 12, 2014