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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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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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Our Condolences...

While not fire related, the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation, like you, is shocked and and saddened by the assassination of NYPD Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos on Saturday afternoon. This loss is compounded by the death of another first responder on Sunday, when Officer Charles Kondek in Tarpon Springs, FL was shot and run over after responding to help.

To our brothers and sisters in blue and their families we send our support and condolences. We urge all public safety personnel, whether fire, police, or EMS to remain vigilant as they respond to calls for service.

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Condolences to the Craig-Lewis Family and the Philadelphia Fire Department

The Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation sends it's sincere condolences to family of Firefighter Joyce Craig-Lewis and the Philadelphia Fire Department.

Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

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On this, the third anniversary of the passing of Lt. Joseph DiBernardo, please take a moment to reflect on the brotherhood and friendship he gave, and the impact he had on so many lives- both in the fire service and throughout our llives. He left this earth much too soon. Rest in peace brother, we'll take it from here.

The Boys from Rescue Three

By Dave Meloy
Through flames and smoke they traveled fast
To search for souls still free
The bravest lads, hard at work
The boys from Rescue Three

As they walked the smoke filled halls
They knew not what lie ahead
They battled flames and blockages
They fought while others fled

When escape seemed so far out of reach
A hero made his stand
He took his bail out rig and placed it in his brothers hand

A monumental gesture, to a brother who had kids
They were bonded by a kinship
They wore three upon their lids

True Angels flew from that window, as smoke had filled the sky
I’m sure they must have surely thought, this is our last goodbye
But the fate of each brave fireman was different on that day
God called some men to his hall, and he let some men stay

Bent but never broken, the boys of Rescue Three
A hero and a legend was born that day
His name was Joey D!

His sacrifice was epic, and as gigantic as his heart
He made it through that fateful day , not knowing when he’d part

So now he watches over us, the ones who brave the fire
His guiding hand and angels touch
Send down Lord Gods own choir

No man is ever left behind, that is our battle cry
No matter how tough the goin’ gets, when flames they reach the sky

Through flames and smoke they traveled fast
To search for souls still free
The bravest lads, hard at work
The boys from Rescue Three

12-09-1970 ~ 11-22-2011

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New Partnership with Leary Firefighters Foundation to Keep More Firefighters Safe

Safety equipment and training to be provided to departments in need

The Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation is pleased to partner with the Leary Firefighters Foundation. This new partnership will help to provide personal life safety systems to departments in need in the New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts area.

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

The Leary Firefighters Foundation was established in 2000 by actor Denis Leary in response to a tragic fire in Worcester, Massachusetts that claimed the lives of Denis’ cousin, a childhood friend, and four other firefighters. The Leary Firefighters Foundation’s mission is to provide funding and resources for fire departments to obtain the best available equipment, technology and training. They are dedicated to helping maintain the highest level of public safety in the community.

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Condolences to the Bethea Family and the Baltimore City Fire Department

The Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation sends it's sincere condolences to family of Lieutenant James E. Bethea and the Baltimore City Fire Department.

Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

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Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation Mourns Chief Harvey Eisner

Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation offers our sincere regrets on the sudden passing of our good friend and supporter Harvey Eisner. Harvey was the Editor Emeritus of Firehouse® Magazine and supported our Foundation from the beginning. He was a personal friend of Joey, Chief DiBernardo and firefighters all over the U.S.

He will be missed. May he rest in peace.

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Joseph P. DiBernardo Honored at New York Fallen Firefighters Memorial

On Tuesday, October 7, 2014 Joseph P. DiBernardo was remembered at the New York State Fallen Firefighters Memorial. He was among the nine New York firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice that were honored in 2014. The ceremony commemorating these heroes was held during Fire Prevention Week.

The New York State Memorial, dedicated in 1998 includes the names of 2,390 New York firefighters who have died in the line of duty dating back to 1811. It is located in Albany on Empire State Plaza.

Video from the Memorial


Honorees include:

[bscolumns class="one_fourth"]FirefighterThomas J. Burley[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth"]Youngstown Volunteer Fire Company[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth"]Niagara County[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth_last"]June 18, 2013[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="clear"][/bscolumns]
[bscolumns class="one_fourth"]Firefighter John M. Janos[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth"]Binghamton Fire Department[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth"]Broome County[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth_last"]April 6, 2013[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="clear"][/bscolumns]
[bscolumns class="one_fourth"]Captain Matthew J. Porcari[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth"]Owego Fire Department[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth"]Tioga County[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth_last"]January 22, 2013[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="clear"][/bscolumns]
[bscolumns class="one_fourth"]Assistant Chief Timothy J. Lamere[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth"]Constable Fire Department[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth"]Franklin County[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth_last"]August 21, 2012[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="clear"][/bscolumns]
[bscolumns class="one_fourth"]Firefighter Antonio C. Rodriques[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth"]Yonkers Fire Department[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth"]Westchester County[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth_last"]July 31, 2012[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="clear"][/bscolumns]
[bscolumns class="one_fourth"]Lieutenant Joseph P. DiBernardo[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth"]New York City Fire Department[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth"]Bronx County[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth_last"]November 22, 2011[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="clear"][/bscolumns]
[bscolumns class="one_fourth"]Firefighter Michael D. Sowich[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth"]New Hartford Fire Department[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth"]Oneida County[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth_last"]March 2, 2007[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="clear"][/bscolumns]
[bscolumns class="one_fourth"]Firefighter Bernard E. Bauman[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth"]Laurelton Fire Department[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth"]Monroe County[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth_last"]August 27, 1952[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="clear"][/bscolumns]
[bscolumns class="one_fourth"]Firefighter Arthur E. Sink[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth"]Laurelton Fire Department[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth"]Monroe County[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="one_fourth_last"]August 27, 1952[/bscolumns][bscolumns class="clear"][/bscolumns]

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Condolences to Families and Departments of New Carlisle, IN and Glendale, KY Firefighters

The Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation sends it's sincere condolences to family and department of Assistant Fire Chief Jamie Middlebrook who died in the line of duty in New Carlisle, IN.

We also offer our condolences to the family and department of Lt. Jonathan French, who died in the line-of-duty when a semi crashed into the apparatus that he were riding in. His mother, also a volunteer was also injured in the crash.

Please keep them these families your prayers.

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