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Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Training Seminar


The Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Training Seminar now includes three days of life-saving firefighter training! 

The 2021 Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Training Seminar offers world-class firefighter training taught by fire service leaders. This great weekend of fire department training not only helps firefighters to develop their skills, it also benefits the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation’s grant program. Our grant program helps fire departments in need provide Personal Safety Systems (PSS) to their firefighters.


$100 per day 

Two Days Firefighter Hands-On Training
November 5 – 6, 2021 

Suffolk County Fire Academy
676 Maple Street
Yaphank, NY 11980

Thank You to the Suffolk County Fire Academy for their continued support of the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Training Seminar. 

Join us for the fifth year of hands-on training at the 2021 Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Training Seminar. All training programs require a minimum certification of Firefighter I, except for the Fire Police Refresher.

Train for your next response with hands-on opportunities including: 


Residential Fire Operations (LIVE FIRE)
Firefighters will perform various evolutions designed to develop skills on the fire ground at residential structure fires. Many skills will be taught and performed including; Hose handling, Forcible Entry, Laddering, VEIS, Search and Communications. There will be live fire with smoke and heat conditions in the County burn building with seasoned instructors guiding you through each evolution.

Commercial Fire Operations (LIVE FIRE)
Firefighters will perform various evolutions designed to develop skills on the fire ground at commercial structure fires. Many skills will be taught and performed including; Hose handling, Forcible Entry, Laddering, VEIS, Search and Communications. There will be live fire with smoke and heat conditions in the County burn building with seasoned instructors guiding you through each evolution.

Fire Behavior For The Modern Fire Environment
This isn’t just about flashover and the modern fire curve! This course is designed for the firefighter to increase their knowledge on what is actually happening around them in a fire building. The course will begin with a short classroom presentation followed by a rotation of live burns that demonstrate each and every aspect of the presentation under real fire conditions. Students will see firsthand changes on the fire ground including; fire growth, proper and improper ventilation, oxygen limited fires, roll over, flashover and more! Students will also operate with a Thermal Imaging Camera and proper use of the CAN!

Setting up for Success – Aerial & Tower Ladder Operations
This program will provide the answer to why we consider the tower ladder both an offensive and defensive tool on the fire ground. The basic steps of how to use this tool to its maximum capability will be presented in an organized approach from start to finish. The program will emphasize the importance of getting this apparatus in position early and the advantages it can provide the department throughout the incident. This interactive presentation will have various discussions and then move out to the training field to set up and operate tower ladders on the buildings to be used at their maximum potential.

Forcible Entry
Firefighters encounter many obstacles when trying to enter in to a fire building to save lives and get water on the fire quickly and efficiently. This program is designed to enhance firefighters’ skills on forcing doors, cutting locks and roll down doors to enter as quickly as possible. Various tools and techniques will be addressed by experienced instructors from Flashfire industries.

Advanced Auto Extrication
This class is design to challenge the firefighter with difficult extrication scenarios that are not every day occurrences. Vehicles are staged in precarious positions with viable victims trapped that must rely on proactive firefighters to save them. Students will use various tools and equipment while utilizing proven techniques under the guidance of seasoned instructors to successfully extricate the victims.

Firefighter Down! Rapid Intervention
This course is designed for the Firefighter and Fire Officer to enhance their ability to operate proficiently as a Rapid Intervention Crew. Students will go through various stations utilizing different equipment and rescue techniques in zero visibility to save our own. The following skills will be covered: air management, emergency communications, downed firefighter removal techniques, and self-survival skills.

The Art of the Search
The firefighter will perform and demonstrate a high level of competency performing a primary search in an acquired structure or a fabricated course with maze like conditions. The firefighter will conduct a primary search in zero visibility, with heat and stressors searching and removing a victim to safety. The firefighter will perform a search using a search rope to locate and remove a victim. The firefighter will tie off the rope and manage the rope while searching for victims and removing victims, using search rope to find their way out. The firefighter will after demonstration and practice deploy a search rope in teams of three searching for a downed firefighter in an acquired structure or large space. The team of firefighters will use and manage rope with tag lines, find and remove a downed firefighter.

Standpipe Operations
Not all standpipe operations are performed in the same way. This course is designed to teach proper methods of utilizing a standpipe system, hooking up, stretching hose lines and operating in large and multi-story structures. The course will begin with a classroom presentation followed by hands on operations in a multi-story structure. Instructors will work with students on asks that are constants and that will always be performed before firefighters advance a hose lines into the harm’s way.

Thermal Imaging (8 Hours)
This interactive full day program you will learn from experienced instructors who will offer you years of practical experience on utilizing the Thermal Imaging Camera. SAFE-IR instructors are not salesmen or factory reps, but firefighters from busy urban departments nationwide that will share their knowledge with you. This program will begin with a classroom presentation and followed with various hands on instruction in a live fire environment. See what you have been missing when looking at the image on the camera.

Fire Police Refresher
Flares, cones and vest is not all that Fire Police should be concerned about. Many firefighters are injured and killed on our nations roadways every day and we need to do more to help and protect everyone operating. Slowing traffic down and creating safety zones for our operations is key to our safety and success. This class will address the tactics necessary to ensure everyone goes home as we operate on our dangerous roadways.


Eckert Fire Tactics (2 Days)
The focus of this two-day program is to build firefighter confidence, while enhancing basic skills through our experienced staff. Firefighters will rotate through 16 skills stations (8 each day) including some live fire scenarios. Eckert Fire Tactics strives to increase firefighter’s performance and efficiency with programs designed to meet the challenges of the modern fireground.

Engine Company Operations (4 Hours)
Just stretching a hose line is not always as easy as it seems! Students will be rotated through four skills stations to challenge the engine company firefighter and enhance their knowledge on the importance of getting the line into operation quickly and efficiently. Students will be stretching 1 ¾’ and 2 ½” lines around obstacles and operating. Students will also utilize standpipe systems, operate hose lines at a basement fire under live fire conditions and learn how fires rollover and flashover in the flashover simulator.

Ladder Company Operations (4 Hours)
This class is designed to enhance the ladder company firefighter enhance their knowledge and skills on working safely, but aggressively on the fire ground. Firefighter will learn various techniques on Forcible Entry, portable ladder & VEIS, low visibility search and roof operations.


Elevator Emergencies & Rescue (8 Hours)
This full day program is designed to enhance the firefighter awareness and knowledge with elevator emergencies and rescue. Students will have an interactive classroom discussion on hazards involved when dealing with various elevators, various techniques that should be utilized and how to keep everyone safe during these responses. Once the classroom program is completed the students will be guided to various types of live elevators in a high rise building to review lessons discussed and taught in the classroom. Instructors from Dragon Elevator Management and elevator companies will guide the student safely during this program.

Man Vs. Machine
Whether it is a basic ring removal, a person with their arm stuck in a snow blower or a full entrapment involving agricultural equipment, our instructors will guide you through the necessary steps to perform these extrications.

Tower Rescue
Fire departments respond to various emergencies involving workers that are injured or stuck in an elevated position that must be removed safely. This program will enhance the technical rescue firefighter on Tower Rescue and will have students perform various techniques to climb a 100’ radio tower and remove an injured worker. Students will be guided by experienced instructors for First Due Training and Safety Consultants.

Confined Space Rescue
Sixty percent of would-be rescuers die when attempting to rescue a worker in a confined space. This program is designed for the technical rescue firefighter to enhance their knowledge of confined space emergencies. Various techniques will be shown and performed by the student in our confined space simulator. This is a great opportunity to complete your annual refresher or enhance your skills with experienced instructors from Firefighter Proving Grounds.

Trench Rescue
Trench and excavation rescues are extremely dangerous emergencies that can happen anywhere and at any time. This program is designed for firefighters trained in technical rescue, work in a support roll or are interested in being on a technical rescue trench team. Students will discuss the hazards of these operations, utilize various equipment and remove a victim from a live trench.

High-Angle Rope Rescue
Rope Rescues are becoming more and more common with the amount of taller buildings and older buildings that are in need of repairs. This program will give students the opportunity to perform actual rescues from an elevated position. Students will learn various techniques and perform raises and lowers of victims in distress including window washers trapped by a dangling scaffold.

Classroom Firefighter Training
November 7, 2021 

Sequoya High School – Eastern Suffolk BOCES
750 Waverly Avenue
Holtsville, NY 11742

The 2021 Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Training Seminar will feature world-class fire service instructors who will discuss relevant topics that are sure get you ready for your next call!

Keynote Speaker – 
Chief of Department Thomas Richardson - FDNY
The Chief of Department, appointed by the Fire Commissioner, is the highest-ranking uniformed position in the FDNY. The current Chief of Department is Thomas J. Richardson. Chief Richardson was appointed by Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro in 2021.

Chief Richardson is a 40-year veteran who has served as the Chief of Fire Operations since 2019. He will oversee the Department’s 16,000 uniformed Firefighters and EMS personnel and four major agency Bureaus: Fire Operations, EMS Operations, Training and Fire Prevention.

As Chief of Fire Operations, Chief Richardson has overseen the day-to-day work of more than 11,000 Firefighters and fire officers, as well as dozens of high-ranking Staff Chiefs, Deputy Chiefs and Battalion Chiefs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Richardson joined the FDNY in 1980. His first assignment was at Engine Company 227 in Brooklyn, and he later worked at Ladder Company 102 and Rescue Company 2, also in Brooklyn. In 1990, he was promoted to Lieutenant and worked in Battalion 16 in Harlem for a year before returning to Brooklyn when he was assigned to Engine Company 235 in Bedford Stuyvesant. He was promoted again in 1994 and served as the Captain of Engine Company 234 in Crown Heights and later of Squad Company 270 in Queens. In September of 2000, he was promoted to Battalion Chief.

He has been cited for bravery six times in his career, including for the rescue of a 15-year-old boy from a fire in Brooklyn on January 10, 1989. At that incident, Firefighter Richardson was lowered by his lifesaving rope from the roof of a three-story brownstone on Monroe Street and rescued the teenager who was trapped by a fire. He was awarded the Dr. Albert A. Cinelli Medal for his heroic actions.

Chief Richardson is a 2010 graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School – Center for Homeland Defense and Security, where he earned a Master of Arts degree in Security Studies. He received his undergraduate degree at SUNY Empire State College. He has also attended both the FDNY’s Advanced Leadership Course (2015), the Fire Officers Management Institute (2009), and the Combatting Terrorism Center at West Point in 2006.

Lieutenant Ray McCormack (Retired)
The most common impression of leadership is someone who presents bold ideas and motivates workers leaving us feeling that leadership is something few can attain. Nothing could be further from the truth. The people with the most direct leadership influence in the fire service are company officers. Getting them to a place where their leadership inspires others and protects our brand is like a slow ride up the first hill of a roller coaster before it goes over the top. Once you crest that hill you will drop into a leadership test at every turn, staying true to your principles will help smooth over the roughest rides. Join him in the first car.

Battalion Chief Leigh T. Hollins (Retired)
Cedar Hammock Fire Department (FL)
In this course, students will learn the differences between legacy and lightweight construction methods and how they effect our firefighting operations. A portion of the class will also be devoted to explaining New York’s “Truss Law” and how it should be applied strategically and tactically on the fireground. Several other states, including New Jersey, have similar laws which will also be discussed.

Captain Michael M. Dugan (Retired)
This is a back-to-basics review of the truck company’s basic responsibilities and SOPs to assist firefighters whether they are operating as a dedicated truck company or who are assigned that role on the fireground. The class will cover operations at private dwelling fires by first due fire companies including: search techniques, team safety, and the importance of search plan and procedures when operating in the fire building. We will also discuss ventilation practices, how it effects the fire building, and how to coordinate and control venting.

District Chief Mo Davis
Houston Fire Department
This class will discuss how chief-level officers needs to be involved, how they must be equally trained, and the importance of leading aggressively for successful outcomes. Most of the problems on the fireground comes from lack of appropriate leadership and decision making. This class helps address these problems and discusses how decisions are made.

Past Seminars


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