Training to Remember
Second Annual Memorial Seminar Remembers a Hero, Helps Firefighters Stay Safe
Brotherhood. Training. Safety. Firefighters from across the country met in Long Island on May 16 - 17, 2014 in memory of Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo and to hone their firefighting skills.
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 sad day in FDNY history, the fire claimed the lives of two firefighters and forever changed the lives of the surviving firefighters and 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.
A Foundation, established in Joey's memory , aims to keep firefighters safe by providing training and grants to departments for personal life safety rope systems. Now in its second year, the annual seminar has trained over 400 firefighters and helped to provide personal life safety rope systems to a department that would not otherwise be able to afford them.
The weekend seminar kicked off with a meet and greet, where firefighters had the rare opportunity to have a one-on-one discussion with fire service leaders in a casual setting. They also had an opportunity to hear a little bit more about Joey and his passion for learning, teaching, and always striving to be a better firefighter.
On Saturday, the firefighters attended full day of training that began with an intro from Firefighter Jeff Cool, who challenged each student with a quote from Joey ¬- "Are you on the job, or into the job?" Participants had already shown that they were "into the job" by registering and attending this special day of training.
Chief Rick Lasky inspired firefighters to make their departments the best they could be, by understanding where the fire service began and fundamentals in how to instill Pride and Ownership in the department. He made firefighters laugh and touched their hearts with stories and common sense tactics to grow and keep members connected to their department and its mission. Firefighter & Officer Survival: Simple Fires with Complicated Results by Chief Billy Goldfeder challenged firefighters to learn from previous incidents to improve their size-up and decision making on the fireground. He reminded participants that have choices that not only keep them safe, but that honor those that came before; it's their choice to properly size up the scene, to listen to their officers, to follow their SOPs/SOGs, and to train like their life depends on it that will make them a better firefighter or officer.
Later in the afternoon, 2nd Assistant Chief Wayne Melton of the Mt. Hope Fire Company, was presented with a check for over $13,000 to purchase 14 life safety rope systems and related training for their department. This is the first grant that the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation has awarded since beginning their efforts to keep firefighters safe just two years ago.
Training continued with Battalion Chief Frank Montagna, who presented an in depth view of utility emergencies and ways to handle them safely. He presented several different scenarios involving natural gas and electrical power lines. The seminar concluded with Lieutenant Mark Gregory's presentation on Machinery Extrication. Students were presented a variety of specialized rescue topics and discussed the different tools, techniques, and options available to them to solve each type of problem.
With another successful training concluded and the beginning of a safety equipment grant program for fire departments, the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation hopes to preserve Joey's Legacy by keeping firefighters well-trained, well-equipped, and promoting fellowship within the fire service.
In 2015, the 3rd Annual Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Seminar will be held on May 29 - 30, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Long Island in Hauppauge, NY. More information about the next seminar or to show your support visit our website at: www.joeydfoundation.org.
Finishing Touches Being Put on 2014 Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Seminar
Chief Joe DiBernardo (ret.) meets with representatives from the Hyatt Regency Long Island hotel where the 2014 Memorial Seminar will be held. The event is right around the corner, but there are still some seats left. Don't wait - register to be part of this great tribute and learning experience today! Visit www.joeydfoundation.org/seminars/seminar-2014/ to register and to see the instructor line-up for this year's event.
All proceeds from the event help the Foundation to provide funding for personal rope life safety systems and firefighter safety training to departments in need.
Listen to Chief DiBernardo & Jeff Cool on Fire Engineering Talk Radio with John WaltersChief DiBernardo and Jeff Cool talk about the mission of the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Foundation and the upcoming memorial seminar with John Walters from Sons of the Flag. (Chief DiBernardo & Jeff Cool join the conversation around 27 minute mark.)
Humidor/Memento Box Raffle to Benefit the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo FoundationTake a chance on this one-of-a-kind, hand crafted humidor/memento box made by Chief Mike Nugent. This box made especially for the Foundation, features the FDNY Rescue Co. 3 logo, with a Maltese Cross inlay, Joey’s name, and an inscription honoring “Our Brother” and “Our Friend.” Retail value of the box is $400.
What better way to remember Joey and this year’s seminar?
Tickets are $5.00 each or 5 for $20. Winning number will be selected at the end of the seminar. You do not need to be present to win. You will receive your raffle numbers upon purchase.
As both a student and an instructor, Joseph P. DiBernardo knew how important training was to being a better firefighter. Even his training company motto, "experience is paramount" reflected this approach to learning. In this same spirit, students from across the country and some of the top fire service instructors will come together for two days of learning in memory of Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo, "Joey D," of FDNY and the Setauket Fire Department. The 2nd Annual Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation Seminar will be held on May 16 - 17, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Long Island and will support the work of the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Foundation which works to provide training and funding for life safety rope systems to fire departments in need.
Chief Joseph DiBernardo, Joey’s dad and Foundation president remembers, “The thing Joey loved most in the world was going to fires; his next passion was training firefighters.” The Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation, started in Joey’s memory, carries on his legacy by training firefighters and providing funds to purchase life safety rope systems to fire departments.
In 2013, the first annual seminar trained 200 firefighters on various topics focusing on the safety and proficiency in their duties. Instructor, FDNY Battalion Chief (Ret.) John Salka recalls the event, "I was so honored last year to be asked to present at the first Joey D Foundation seminar. I was the engine captain where young Joey was assigned as a probie; from day one it was obvious he was something special. He would be so proud to see what the Foundation that bears his name is accomplishing. They are providing world class training to seminar attendees, bail-out ropes for departments that can't afford to buy them on their own, and have future plans to help fire departments that have suffered losses to get back on their feet. I'm proud to have worked with both Joey and Chief DiBernardo and I look forward to seeing you at this year’s seminar.”
After a successful 2013 seminar, a meet and greet component was added to the 2014 event so students could talk with some of the most experienced firefighters and fire officers in the business and ask questions that are important to them. A second day of classroom training features: Pride and Ownership: The Love of the Job, by Chief Rick Lasky; Firefighter & Officer Survival: Simple Fires with Complicated Results, by Chief Billy Goldfeder; Utility Emergency Tactics, by Battalion Chief Frank Montagna; and Man vs. Machine Incidents, by Lt. Mark Gregory.
When you sign up for this year’s seminar you’re not only improving yourself, you’re also helping to remember a fallen brother and helping to provide life-saving training and equipment to other firefighters. “Joey will never be forgotten as long his Foundation exists. Though he is no longer with us, he will still go on teaching and training firefighters through the support that this Foundation receives from firefighters across the country. Those who attend bring that knowledge home and pass it on to their fellow firefighters to further enhance their safety,” explains Chief DiBernardo.