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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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