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Don't Call Me Hero: FDNY Firefighter Jeff Cool Interview


This very special edition of Birds Eye View Project's #FirefighterFridayfeatured veteran and Firefighter Jeff Cool, who served 14 Years with FDNY Rescue 3. On this episode, we discuss his early days as an Air Force Firefighter, joining the FDNY, September 11th, Black Sunday, and the crucial work being done by the Joey D Foundation to supply firefighters with life saving equipment and training.

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Wings Contest Helps Firefighters

This summer the Centereach Fire Department competed in a wing eating contest, hosted by Stop & Shop in Ronkonkoma. Centereach Fire Department members Matt Gehm and Ed Davidson ate their way to a victory and received a check for $1,000. This check was presented to the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation on September 21, 2020. On hand to present the check to FDNY Deputy Chief (retired) Joe Dibernardo was Centereach Assistant Chief Joseph Feola, Firefighter Matt Gehm, and Firefighter Ed Davidson. Congratulations to Matt and Ed and thank you to Centereach Fire Department for your generous donation!

(Fire News photo by Dennis Whittam)

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Erie Fire Department to Receive Updated Equipment Thanks to Several Grants

The chief says now that the money is secured to bring in the equipment, it will change the future of the department.

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Bird's Eye View Project's Firefighter Friday with Veteran FDNY Firefighter Joseph P. DiBernardo


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Third Annual Fire Department Volleyball Tournament

The safety and health of our firefighters and our communities are paramount to the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation. After careful consideration and due to the limitations of social distancing, we have decided to cancel the Third Annual Fire Department Volleyball Tournament. We were all looking forward to this year’s challenge and a much-needed escape from the stresses of this pandemic; your wellbeing is more important to us. So, use this time to work on your serve and we will focus our efforts on making the 2021 event our best tournament yet!

We look forward to seeing everyone again in 2021 for the Third Annual Fire Department Volleyball Tournament. Please stay healthy and safe.

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Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation and Fire Hooks Unlimited Provide 300 to Local Departments

On Wednesday, April 15, Chief Joe DiBernardo delivered 100 N95 masks to the Miller Place Fire Department and 200 to the Setauket Fire Department.

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The Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation is Grateful

We are living in unprecedented times. As we social distance, the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation sends its profound gratitude to all first responders, members of the armed forces, and medical professionals who are battling fiercely to keep us safe and well during these uncertain times. They have always been our heroes, and their selfless compassion for their neighbors will always be a beacon of hope and strength during times of distress.

During this global crisis, we are also grateful for the many farmers, truckers, postal/delivery, sanitation, grocery, and food service workers who continue their hard work to keep us fed and supplied with the necessary goods to fulfill our basic needs. Now more than ever, we understand and appreciate their importance in our daily lives, and we thank them.

Although we are physically isolated, our thoughts, prayers and gratitude for our many blessings and for those on the front lines of this pandemic will make a difference. Please take a moment to reflect on their service and the sacrifices their families make every day.

From the the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation family to yours, please stay safe and well.

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Affordable Drill Towers Holds Benefit Training

Affordable Drill Towers teamed up with TEEX, Williamson County ESD #3 (Hutto Fire Rescue), Bastrop County ESD #2, and some of the top fire instructors in the U.S. for it's 2020 Winter Training Event.

The event, held on January 18-19, 2020, benefited the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation.

This weekend, Steve Sanguedolce presented a check to the DiBernardo family for $5,000 for the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation.

"Mrs. D, it is us that are honored and feel fortunate to be in a position to contribute to such a worthy charity. You, Chief D (Joe DiBernardo), Kevin, and the rest of the Joey D Foundation are doing such a great thing; not only preserving Joey’s legacy, but saving other firefighters lives through the grant program," says Steve Sanguedolce, CEO/President of Affordable Drill Towers.

Thank you to Steve Sanguedolce, Affordable Drill Towers, TEEX, Williamson County ESD #3, Bastrop County ESD #2, all of the instructors, and students who supported this event!

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Bird’s Eye View Project Selects Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation as Charity Partner

The Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation is honored and pleased to announce that we have once again been selected as a Bird’s Eye View Project charity partner.

The Bird’s Eye View Project showcases a series of events that raise awareness and funding for charities that impact the lives of veterans and first responders. Their mission is to bridge the growing divide between those who serve and those who benefit from their service, by encouraging all Americans to “support those who support us.” In keeping with this mission, the Bird’s Eye View Project has announced its new charity partners for 2020 - 2022, which include:
• Sons of The Flag
• Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Foundation
• One More Wave
• America’s Defenders
• Gratitude Initiative

“We are happy to be amongst this great group of organizations that support our military and first responders. The Lt. Joseph P. DiBerarndo Memorial Foundation is grateful to Former Navy SEAL Ryan ‘Birdman’ Parrott, U.S.M.C. First Sergeant Mitch Arnold (Ret.), and the entire Bird’s Eye View Project team for their continued support of our mission to keep firefighters safe,” said Chief Joe DiBernardo. “Their assistance brings much needed awareness and support for our important work.”

In 2019, Bird's Eye View Project's Walk the Walk 100 raised $3,000 for our work. Bird's Eye View Project Board Member Sam Williamson made it a personal extreme mission to walk 100 miles from Waco to Dallas, Texas in support of veterans and first responders.

Since 2013, the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation has provided over $472,000 in grant funds to keep firefighters safe. We believe, firefighters can’t save lives, if they too become trapped by fire. On the fireground, firefighters need to be prepared for anything and sometimes they just need another way out. That’s why the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation provides Personal Safety Systems (PSS) and training to fire departments in need. This important safety equipment and training helps them safely exit multi-story buildings through a window if there are no other means of escape.

“You’re not just doing phenomenal things, but you’re changing lives.” says Mitch Arnold, Executive Director of the Bird’s Eye View Project. “We love being just a small part of the change that’s happening in the lives of our veterans and first responders.”
Check out the great work being done by the Bird’s Eye View Project and its partners at: www.birdseyeviewproject.org.

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Celebrate #HeroesChanceDay on #GivingTuesday

On Tuesday, December 3, 2019, #HeroesChanceDay, you can celebrate a fallen FDNY firefighter and give a lifeline and training to a firefighter in need.

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The Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation Earns a 2019 Bronze Seal of Transparency

Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation just earned a 2019 Bronze Seal of Transparency by adding information to our nonprofit profile on GuideStar.

Now our community members as well as 10+ million GuideStar users can find out more about our mission and programs.

Plus, we’ve provided fresh information to 200+ charitable websites and applications that use GuideStar data, such as AmazonSmile, Facebook, and Network for Good.

What do you think? Check out our profile and Bronze Seal of Transparency at www.guidestar.org/Profile/9246042
GuideStar is the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations. Foundation Center and GuideStar have joined forces to become a new nonprofit called Candid. Learn more at candid.org.

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Remembering the Class of 1995

A long time ago, there was a little boy who wanted to be a fireman. His dream came true 24 years ago today...October 15, 1995. He, along with 200+ in the class of 1995, raised his hand and took an oath to protect the lives and property of the citizens of the City of New York. Unfortunately, this little boy's firefighting years where cut short after only 10 years on the job...but, what a 10 years it was...probably, the happiest of his life. So, here's to Joey and the others from that class of 1995. For those no longer with us, rest in peace!! For those still on the job, stay safe!!

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And the 2019 Joey D Seminar Humidor Goes to...

This one-of-a-kind 2019 Joey D Seminar humidor made especially for the Foundation, was hand crafted by Chief Mike Nugent at Black Pearl Woodworks. The humidor features the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation logo and a quote from FDNY Chief Edward F. Croker from 1910. It reads:

“I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a firefighter. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we who know the work which the firefighter has to do believe that his is a noble calling. There is an adage which says that, "Nothing can be destroyed except by fire." We strive to preserve from destruction the wealth of the world which is the product of the industry of men, necessary for the comfort of both the rich and the poor. We are defenders from fires of the art which has beautified the world, the product of the genius of men and the means of refinement of mankind. (But, above all; our proudest endeavor is to save lives of men-the work of God Himself. Under the impulse of such thoughts, the nobility of the occupation thrills us and stimulates us to deeds of daring, even at the supreme sacrifice. Such considerations may not strike the average mind, but they are sufficient to fill to the limit our ambition in life and to make us serve the general purpose of human society.”

Retail value of the humidor is $400. All donations benefit the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation, which provides grants to fire departments in need.

Congratulations to Battalion Chief Tony Bruno, FDNY (Ret.) of the for winning the 2019 Humidor Raffle

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New Items Donated for the 2019 Volleyball Tournament Raffle

We will be raffling off some donated items at the Second Annual Fire Department Volleyball Fundraiser on July 25, 2019. You will find new items listed in this post leading up to the tournament. Chances are $5 each or five for $20. You do not need to be present to win.

Raffle Items

Maia Salon Spa & Wellness Package

Fire Hooks Black Maxx

The Fire Hooks Unlimited Black Maxx is a hybrid sledge/maul featuring 10 lb. pound striking-force head with a pointed pike/edged cutter. The Black Maxx works well with a baseball style swing for easy forcible entry and can also provide an instant foot hold when the pointed end is sunk into a slanted or pitched roof.

The handle features an embossed thermo-rubber grip and a rubber over-strike guard that also doubles as a guide for hand placement. The Fire Hooks Unlimited Black Maxx might just become your favorite one-stop shop tool for forcible entry, roof work, ventilation and overhaul. The Black Maxx is built tough to handle your toughest fire ground jobs. And the edged pike has a notch that allows you to marry a 30” Pro Bar Halligan so you can carry both tools together!

• 10 lb. Head
• 11.5 lbs. Overall weight
• Reinforced fiberglass handle
• Overstrike guard
• Cutting edge on pike for chopping and cutting
• Notched pike for Halligan marrying

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Second Annual Fire Department Volleyball Fundraiser to Be Held on July 25, 2019

Join us for a night of food, music, and family fun for a great cause! The Second Annual Fire Department Volleyball Fundraiser sponsored by the Holiday Inn Express Stony Brook and Gold Coast Bank and will be held at the Holiday Inn Express Stony Brook. Cost is $20 per person and includes food and beverages. Music features Special guest DJ Kevin along with LIVE Musical Performances by Face to Face, a tribute to the music of Billy Joel & Elton John. Also, new in 2019, the corn hole tournament.

Your donation benefits the programs of the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation which provides training and Personal Safety Systems to fire departments in need.

For more information, contact Tanya Lee at (631) 471-8000 ext. 709
or E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Springfield Fire Department Practices Bail-Out Scenarios in Annual Training

In order to keep their skills sharp, firefighters practice with their PSS to get a better feel for their environment when using it in a real situation.

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Vigo County fire departments practice bailout bag safety and install smoke alarms

The Otter Creek Fire Department is now better equipped to safely escape any multi-story burning buildings, thanks to an eight thousand dollar bailout bag grant from the Joey DiBernardo Foundation.

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The Joey D Foundation Thanks Navy SEAL Ryan “Birdman” Parrott and Bird’s Eye View Project for Their Very Generous Grant

Many charities positively and profoundly impact the lives of veterans and first responders, but they need a bigger platform and more funding to share their story and highlight the needs of those they serve. The Bird’s Eye View Project showcases a series of BIG events that will raise BIG awareness and funding for charities. Their mission is to bridge the growing divide between those who serve and those who benefit from their service, by encouraging all Americans to “support those who support us.”

The Lt. Joseph P. DiBerarndo Memorial Foundation thanks Navy SEAL Ryan “Birdman” Parrott and the Bird’s Eye View Project team for their generous support of our mission to keep firefighters safe. "Their support helps us provide Personal Safety Systems (PSS) to fire departments in need, so that one day every firefighter will have the equipment they need to safely escape a fire," say Chief Joe DiBernardo, Foundation President. "We honored by the brotherhood shown by Ryan 'Birdman' Parrott and are very grateful for the Bird’s Eye View Project for their support of the nation's firefighters."

Bird’s Eye View Project, in addition to supporting the Lt. Joseph P. DiBerarndo Memorial Foundation, supports the following charities through their fund raising events:

  • Sons of the Flag provides support to Veterans and First Responders, and their families, who have survived a burn injury.
  • Carry the Load is dedicated to providing active, meaningful ways to honor and celebrate the sacrifices made by our nation’s heroes — military, veterans, law enforcement, firefighters, rescue personnel and their families.
  • 22KILL provides traditional and non-traditional therapies for service members and their families. Our focus is on empowerment and helping individuals find a sense of purpose after service. This includes all services: Military, Police, Fire, and EMS.
  • Boot Campaign is comprehensive health and wellness program that targets the big five invisible wounds: PTSD, traumatic brain injury, chronic pain, self-medication and insomnia.
  • Rosecrance Florian Program is the first program in the country dedicated to and specializing in serving firefighters, paramedics and other fire service members who need substance abuse treatment but who also need care for job-related post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and other behavioral health issues.
  • America's Mighty Warriors honors our troops, the fallen and their families with programs that improve quality of life, resiliency and recovery. Funds donated allow us to offer programs that help those who served and families of the fallen through HBOT, Gold Star Respite and more.
  • Task Force Dagger supports the men and women and the families of the US Army Special Operations Command in need of physical, mental and family support as a result of their combat deployments in service of our country.

Please help support the Bird’s Eye View Project and the Joey D Foundation.

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Next Generation of Firefighters Learn from the Past

Each year, Fire Science students at Lambton College in Ontario, Canada, participate in a group project where they research and present on significant fires. FDNY Black Sunday is just one of the topics students can choose and each class has responded to the project differently. In a previous year, students built this scale replica of the apartment from that fateful day. This year, one group project included the following summary of the event relating specifically to Joey:

Joey DiBernardo was riding with Rescue 3 on Black Sunday. Rescue 3 was dispatched to a structure fire in a 4 story apartment building in the Bronx.

DiBernardo was performing a search with one other firefighter from Rescue 3 and four firefighters from Ladder 27 on the 4th floor, above the fire. Lack of water allowed the conditions within the building to escalate until the firefighters were forced to exit through the 4th story windows. There was no time to have ladders raised to the windows and 4 of the firefighters jumped from the the 4th story into a small, below-grade alleyway behind the building.

DiBernardo and Jeff Cool, from Rescue 3, remained in the building. Cool threw one end of an escape rope to DiBernardo with the intent to lower him to the ground from the adjacent window. DiBernardo refused to be lowered down first because he knew Cool had a wife and kids, while Joey was single. DiBernardo wrapped the rope around his arm and waist in an attempt to self-belay Cool to safety, but when Cool leapt out of the window, he lost his grasp on the rope landing in the alley below and suffering severe injuries.

DiBernardo then tied the escape rope to a child safety guard and attempted to lower himself to the ground. According the DiBernardo’s account, the rope broke causing him to also fall to the alleyway below, breaking almost all of the bones from his waist down. DiBernardo’s recovery was a long process. He fought for his life in the hospital, battling his injuries as well as respiratory arrest and pneumonia. After leaving the hospital, he spent an extended amount of time in a rehabilitation center learning to walk again. Joey DiBernardo lived the rest of his life in pain and on many medications, eventually passing away on November 22, 2011 as a result of injuries sustained on Black Sunday.

The selfless way that Joey DiBernardo lived and eventually died serves as a testament to the kind of person, firefighter and friend that he was. He was a shining example of what it is to live a life of service to others. In that same way, his family continues to give back to the fire service through the work they do as part of the Joey D Foundation.

"These students are 18-20 years of age," says Professor Scott Brown, "They can’t answer the question, 'Where were you on 9/11?' 9/11 is a history lesson for them." He uses to stories like 9/11 and those of Joey DiBernardo, Jeff Cool, Kevin Shea, and Paddy Brown to teach the next generation of the fire service.
Lambton students also have a chance to visit New York with stops at "The Rock" at Randall’s Island and 9/11 Memorial and Museum. The highlight of the 2018 trip, was meeting up with Retired Rescue 3 Firefighter Tim Brown at the 9/11 Memorial reflecting pools. In March 2018, the students marched up 5th Avenue in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and plan to visit again in March 2019.

The Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation and the DiBernardo family thanks Professor Brown and the Fire Science Students at Lambton College for taking the time to study and learn from the Black Sunday Fire and other fires. "Your hard work not only helps prevent similar tragedies from occurring, but it honors those who gave their lives in the line of duty. Thank you for remembering our son in this meaningful way," says Joey's father, Chief Joe DiBernardo.

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And the Giants Ticket Package Winner Is ...

New York Giants vs Tennessee Titans at Met Life Stadium

Sunday, December 16 at 1 pm

Package includes:
  • Four $520 Club Section seats, Value of $2,080
  • Free Parking for one car
  • Pre-Game On Field Access Passes (unable to purchase)

Congratulations to FDNY Battalion Chief Frank Donnelly (Ret.) who won the New Giants Ticket Package

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