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Into the Job: Firefighter's Training Legacy Continues to Challenge and Energize Firefighters to Be Their Best

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"Are you on the job, or are you into the job?" was a question that the late Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo, FDNY, and renowned instructor often asked his students. He knew that no matter what type of department they came from and how many years of service, that being a great firefighter takes initiative, passion, and constant growth. On May 29 - 30, 2015, nearly 150 firefighters answered Joey's challenge, proving that they too were into "into the job" during the 2015 Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation Seminar in Long Island, New York.

Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo, also known as “Joey D,” of the FDNY and Setauket Fire Department, died in 2011 from injuries that he sustained in a 2005 fire, known as “Black Sunday.” On this tragic day in FDNY history, the Bronx fire claimed the lives of two firefighters and forever changed the lives of the surviving firefighters and their families. Firefighter Jeff Cool’s personal life safety rope helped he and Joey to escape, as they were forced to jump from a 4-story apartment building with fire ranging behind them.

"It really is a heartwarming event for Joe DiBernardo and me. The respect for Joey is so evident, and the support for what we are doing to continue his legacy is overwhelming," says Joey's mother, Barbara.

This year's event began with a meet and greet with instructors, firefighters, and FDNY legends of the BBC documentary Man Alive: The Bronx Is Burning. Students had the unique opportunity to talk with instructors and seasoned vets one-on-one outside the traditional classroom. The following morning, a full day of classroom training included Street Smart Tactical Truck Tips and Tricks with FDNY Lt. Michael Ciampo; University of Extrication: Hybrid Vehicles with Division Chief Ron Moore, McKinney Fire Department (ret.); Counter Terrorism Planning with FDNY Battalion Chief John Nykiel, and FDNY/NIST Live Burn Flow Path Study with Fire Protection Engineer Dan Madrzykowski and FDNY Captain John Ceriello.

Now in its third year, the annual seminar program has trained over 500 firefighters and continues to keep firefighters safe long after the training is over. Funds raised support the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation grant program. This grant program has awarded over $40,000 for training and personal life safety rope systems to departments that would not otherwise be able to afford them. The Foundation expects to announce additional grants in 2015, bringing the total to almost $100,000. "We are grateful for the generous support of our sponsors, donors, and all who attend and teach at the seminars. They play an important role in honoring Joey's memory and in keeping firefighters across North America safe," says Chief Joe DiBernardo, Joey's father and Foundation President.

With the conclusion of another successful seminar, the Foundation will continue its mission of training firefighters and helping departments provide life-saving equipment to their members. Preparations are already underway for the 2016 Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation Seminar. For more information about the 2016 Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Seminar or to learn other ways that you can help visit: www.joeydfoundation.org.

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Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation Awards Training and Equipment Grant to the Burdett Fire Department

Grant funding provided in partnership with the Leary Firefighters Foundation with support from Sterling Rope


The Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation is pleased to announce its grant award to the Burdett Fire Department (NY). This grant, in the amount of $12,782, was provided by the Foundation in partnership with the Leary Firefighters Foundation and with the support of Sterling Rope. Grant funding will provide department members with personal life safety rope systems and related training.

Now in it its third year, the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation grant program has awarded over $39,000 to departments. Established in Joey’s memory in 2012, the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation holds training events that promote firefighter to raise funds to support its grant program. It also relies on the generous support of our sponsors and partners to help train and equip firefighters.

In 2005, Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo, known to his friends and colleagues as “Joey D,” was critically injured in a Bronx apartment fire where two firefighters perished and three others were also badly injured. A personal safety rope system, carried by fellow Rescue 3 Firefighter Jeff Cool, helped both Joey and Jeff to escape the flames by lowering themselves as far as they could from the four-story jump. After the incident, Joey traveled around the country training firefighters and sharing his story to help other firefighters. His foundation will continue this work, helping firefighters in the United States and Canada.

In August 2012, New York Governor Cuomo, signed into law a measure to provide New York firefighters with personal safety rope systems or emergency escape systems in the event they become trapped in an elevated structure fire.

"I would like to thank everyone who has supported the Foundation and its mission to keep firefighters safe. Together we carry on Joey's legacy and work to prevent other tragedies from occurring ," says Chief Joe DiBernardo, Foundation president and Joey's father.

The Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation will continue to train firefighters and provide grants to departments to ensure the safety of firefighters across the United States and Canada. To learn more about the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation’s grant program for personal life safety rope systems or to apply visit: www.joeydfoundation.org.

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Support Firefighters with a Night at the Ball Game

New York Mets vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Saturday, July 25, 2015 7:10 pm


Join the New York Mets as they take on the Los Angeles Dodgers and support the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation. Heart Concert immediately following the game.
Named in honor of the late Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo, the memorial foundation started in his name provides grants to fire departments in need of personal life safety rope systems. The Foundation also holds annual seminars for training and development on such systems.

In honor of Lt. DiBernardo, a portion of every ticket sold through this online offer will be donated back to the Foundation to continue its work to protect the lives of firefighters. For more information, or for groups of 13 or more, please contact Alexandra Pugliese at 718 559 3038 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Seat on the Pepsi Porch - $45.00

Get Your Tickets at: www.mets.com/JoeyD

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Firehouse® Partners with Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation to Train Firefighters

The Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation is pleased to partner with Firehouse® again in 2015 to raise awareness and funds for the important work of keeping firefighters safe. Firehouse® has been a supporter of the Foundation since its inception, and a friend to both Joey and Chief DiBernardo.

We would like to thank Firehouse® for their continued in-kind support of the 3rd Annual Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation Seminar and look forward to having them at our upcoming event. Our sincere thanks also goes to Firehouse® for extending an invitation to exhibit at this year's Firehouse Expo.

The Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation, established in 2012, “carries on Joey’s legacy by training firefighters and providing personal life safety rope systems to departments in the United States and Canada which do not have the means to provide this important life-saving equipment,” says Chief Joe DiBernardo. Our Foundation achieves its mission by holding training events that promote firefighter safety and raises funds to support its grant program. An annual seminar provides training to firefighters from across the country and will allow the Foundation to help departments and firefighters throughout North America to stay safe.

The Firehouse® brand includes a comprehensive integrated marketing platform serving the nation’s first responders. This portfolio of industry-leading properties provides an unparalleled audience reach for public safety with print, online, mobile and event properties including: Firehouse, Firehouse Expo, Firehouse World.

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Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation Table at the Virginia Firefighter Games

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Our friends at the Newport News Firefighters Association set up a table for us at the Virginia Firefighter Games on April 18, 2015. We thank everyone who stopped to learn more about the Foundation and show their support.

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Chief DiBernardo Presents at the New Jersey Deputy Fire Chiefs Association

On April 11, 2015, Chief Joe DiBernardo presented at the 2nd Annual New Jersey Deputy Fire Chiefs Association Seminar. The Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation thanks the New Jersey Deputy Fire Chiefs Association for having us to speak about the Foundation and Joey's story. We are greatful for the support of the New Jersey Deputy Fire Chiefs Association.

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Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation Now on LinkedIn

The Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation now has a company page on LinkedIn. You can follow us and get updates on all the exciting things going on at the Foundation.

Visit www.linkedin.com/company/lt-joseph-p-dibernardo-memorial-foundation and follow us today!

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A Sneak Peek at the 2015 Seminar Humidor/Momento Box

Each year, one lucky seminar attendee takes home a one-of-a-kind treasure handcrafted by Chief Mike Nugent at Black Pearl Wood Works.  Starting at the first seminar in 2013, Chief Nugent's tribute to his friend Joey has become a seminar tradition.  Featuring a new design each year, the humidor/momento box is an outstanding way to remember Joey and a reminder of the great weekend of training and new friendships with other firefighters from around the country.

The 2015 seminar design features laser engraved photo of Joey.

Tickets are $5.00 each or 5 for $20.   The winning number will selected at the end of the seminar.  You do not need to be present to win.  You will receive your raffle numbers upon purchase.  Also, new in 2015 a matching challenge coin holder will also be on auction during the seminar.





All donations will support the work of the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation which provides training and funds to provide personal life safety rope systems to fire departments in North America.

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Equipment Donated by Sterling Rope Keeps Firefighters Safe

Sterling Rope has pledged it's continued support of the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation to help keep firefighters safe. In 2014, Sterling Rope provided over $1,800 worth of equipment to help save firefighter lives.  The Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation is pleased to partner with them again in 2015 to provide personal life safety rope systems to departments in need.

The mission of the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation is train and provide personal life safety rope systems to firefighters throughout North America.  Established in 2012, the Foundation carries on Joey’s legacy of training firefighters and providing personal life safety rope systems to departments in North America. The Foundation holds training events that promote firefighter safety and raises funds to support its grant program.

"Our partners are an important part of helping the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation remember Joey and to support fire departments throughout North America.  Their generosity helps the Foundation provide firefighters with training and equipment that will help them go home safely to their families," says Chief Joe DiBernardo, President of the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation.

Sterling Rope is the leading manufacturer of life safety rope, cord, and hardware. Made right here in the USA, Sterling has works very hard to develop the best product for use in climbing, rope rescue, arbor, guiding, industrial safety, work access and OEM markets. Striving to be the front runner in innovation within the field, they work closely with companies to develop products for their needs.  Each rope, no matter the diameter or length, runs through the hands of a real person to ensure that it meets the high standards of Sterling Rope.

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FDNY Lieutenant’s Legacy Helps Train and Equip Firefighters for the Next Emergency

Third Annual Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Seminar to Be Held on May 29 - 30th


Firefighters from across the country will gather at the Hyatt Long Island on May 29 – 30, 2015, to train and remember fallen firefighter Joseph P. "Joey" DiBernardo. This annual two-day seminar will not only help them be better firefighters, but it will help other firefighters long after the seminar is over.

The Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation, carries on Joey's legacy by training firefighters and providing grants to departments for the purchase of safety rope systems. Following an incident on Sunday, January 23, 2005, Joey traveled around the country training firefighters and stressing the importance of personal safety ropes. During this fire, six FDNY firefighters were forced to jump from a four-story tenement after becoming trapped while searching for victims. Lt. Curtis Meyran and Firefighter John Bellew died from their injuries and Firefighters Eugene Stolowski, Brendan Cawley, Jeff Cool, and Joseph DiBernardo were critically injured. Later that day, Firefighter Rich Sclafani died in a house fire in Brooklyn, making it the deadliest day for FDNY since September 11, 2001; the incident became known as "Black Sunday." The effects of Black Sunday are still felt today by survivors of the fire and their families. On November 22, 2011, Joseph DiBernardo, who was promoted to lieutenant after the incident, died from his Black Sunday injuries at the age of 40.

A Foundation was established in his memory in 2012 to help keep firefighters safe. Chief Joe DiBernardo, Joey’s dad and Foundation president recalls his passion for training. “Through the work of the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation, Joey will never be forgotten. His love for training firefighters will continue to help firefighters and inspire them for years to come.”

This year's seminar features courses on: counter terrorism, updates on the FDNY/NIST Flow Path Study, Extrication for Hybrid Vehicles, and Truck Company Operations. A special networking event will allow students to talk with some of the most experienced fire service leaders, instructors, and veterans in the business including firefighters from the well known fire documentary Man Alive: The Bronx is Burning. More information about the 2015 seminar including links to register and ways to sponsor the event can be found at: www.joeydfoundation.org/seminars/2015-seminar

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Scott Safety Partners with Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation to Save Firefighter Lives


The Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation is happy to announce its newest partnership with Scott Safety to help keep firefighters safe. Jeff Cool, Foundation Board member and FDNY Black Sunday fire survivor, met with Pierre Desrochers, Zone Manager and Matt Meagher, Regional Sales Manager for Scott Safety on February 5, 2015. A check for $10,000 from Scott Safety was presented to the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation to help train and equip firefighters throughout North America.

The Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation, established in 2012, “carries on Joey’s legacy by training firefighters and providing personal life safety rope systems to departments in the United States and Canada which do not have the means to provide this important life-saving equipment,” says Chief Joe DiBernardo. The Foundation achieves its mission by holding training events that promote firefighter safety and raises funds to support its grant program.

Scott Safety, a Tyco business, is a premier manufacturer of innovative respiratory and personal protective equipment and safety devices for firefighters, industrial workers, police squads, militaries, homeland security forces, and rescue teams around the world. With five global manufacturing locations, Scott products protect thousands of individuals each day from environmental hazards including smoke, toxic fumes, combustible gases, falling objects, and contaminants.

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Families honor 10th anniversary of Black Sunday

A special Mass was held Saturday in honor of the 10th anniversary of one of the deadliest days in FDNY history.

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Tenth anniversary of Black Sunday tragedy focuses on honor of the fallen firefighters and courage of the survivors

Three NYC firefighters died in two separate fires on Jan. 23, 2005 - a day dubbed 'Black Sunday." Another injured firefighter died several years later. The tragic incident has been used to train countless firefighters all over the country. Families and colleagues work to keep the spirit of the fallen alive.

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10th anniversary of 'Black Sunday’

On Jan. 23, 2005, a Bronx four-story building engulfed in flames forced six firefighters to jump from a window when an illegal partition inside the apartment blocked a fire escape.

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On 10th anniversary of Black Sunday, survivors remember lost FDNY brothers

Tune into the PIX11 live streaming on January 23, 2015 at 7:30 a.m. (ET) to see Black Sunday Survivors Firefighters Jeff Cool, Eugene Stolowski, and Brendan Cawley remember the fire that changed many lives ten years ago.

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Retired FDNY Chief, Whose Son was a Black Sunday Victim, Out to Save Firefighters

This proud father refuses to let a decade of grief for his son go up in smoke.

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Ten Years After Black Sunday Fire, FDNY Lieutenant’s Legacy Helps Keep Firefighters Safe

Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation provides equipment and training


On Sunday, January 23, 2005, six FDNY firefighters were forced to jump from a four-story Bronx tenement after they became trapped by fire while searching for victims in illegally divided rooms. Lt. Curtis Meyran and Firefighter John Bellew died from their injuries that day. Firefighters Eugene Stolowski, Brendan Cawley, Jeff Cool, and Joseph P. "Joey" DiBernardo were critically injured. Later that day, Firefighter Rich Sclafani died in a house fire in Brooklyn, making it the deadliest day for FDNY since September 11, 2001; the day became known as "Black Sunday."

A personal life safety rope carried by Firefighter Jeff Cool helped both he and Joseph DiBernardo to lessen the height of their fall. After the incident, Joey was promoted to lieutenant and continued to train firefighters across the country as a well known fire service instructor. Although, he still lived with the trauma of Black Sunday, he shared his story and stressed the importance of personal life safety ropes and training. However, the effects of that tragic day continued and on November 22, 2011, Joseph DiBernardo died from his Black Sunday injuries at the age of 40.

After Joey's death, a non-profit foundation was established in his memory in 2012 to keep firefighters safe. The Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation, carries on his legacy by training firefighters and providing grants to departments for personal life safety rope systems and training. An annual seminar is held to raise funds, along with the generous support of sponsors and individual donors. Since 2012, grants totaling over $27,000 have already been awarded to two departments in need.

Ten years later, firefighters from across the country will gather at the Hyatt Long Island on May 29 – 30, 2015, to train and remember Joey DiBernardo. Deputy Chief Joe DiBernardo, Joey's dad and Foundation president, says "it's hard to believe a decade has passed since the fire. There has been so much pain, suffering, tears and memories experienced by the survivors, families, and friends since that day. They will never be forgotten and Joey will live on through the work of his Foundation." For more information about the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation and the 2015 seminar visit www.joeydfoundation.org.

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Mt. Hope Fire Department Holds Bailout Training

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After it's first grant award in May 2014 to the Mt. Hope Fire Department in Otisville, NY, the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation is happy to report that firefighters received training for their new equipment. Grant funds provided 14 personal life safety rope systems to protect Mount Hope’s operational members and provide training to use their new equipment.

The Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation, established in Joey’s memory in 2012, “carries on Joey’s legacy by training firefighters and providing funds to departments in need of life safety rope systems,” says Chief Joe DiBernardo. Grants funds will help departments which do not have the financial means to provide this important life-saving equipment.

To ensure the safety of firefighters across the United States and Canada, the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation will continue to train firefighters and provide grants to departments in need of safety equipment. To learn more about the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation’s grant program for personal life safety rope systems or to apply visit: www.joeydfoundation.org.

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Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation Mourns the Passing of FDNY Lt. Tommy Bohn


The Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation is saddened to learn of the passing of FDNY Lt. Tommy Bohn, who previously served with Joey at Rescue 3 before his promotion to lieutenant. Tommy had been battling with injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident this past summer. We send our thoughts and prayers to Tommy's family and the officers and members of Rescue Company 4.

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Foundation Sends Condolences to Family and Department of Local Asst. Chief

We were saddened to learn of the death of Former Assistant Chief Joe Sanford, of the Inwood Fire Department, who was injured last week in a Woodmere, NY house fire. The Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation sends its thoughts and prayers to the Sanford family and the Inwood Fire Department.

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