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Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation Annual Seminars 

A Legacy of Firefighter Training 

Each year, the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation holds annual seminars to continue Joey’s legacy of training firefighters. These events features a variety of topics to help firefighters be proficient and safe in carrying out their duties.

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Note: Loaner Gear is not provided. SCBA available for students travelling by Plane.

2023 Joey D Seminar Lectures

A look Inside Black Sunday from the Survivors – Jeff Cool, Eugene Stolowski & Brendan Cawley 

On January 23, 2005 the FDNY suffered one of their most tragic days in their history when six firefighters were trapped by fire and forced to jump out the top floor windows of a Bronx building to the ground. Two firefighters were tragically killed and four others suffered catastrophic injuries. Later this same day another firefighter was tragically killed at a fire in Brooklyn. This day has been known to the FDNY as “Black Sunday”. Hear directly from these firefighters of what they experienced during this fire and how it affected their lives. This lecture will take a look inside this tragic day of how a routine fire changed extremely fast into an uncontrolled event trapping these brave firefighters.

Jeff Cool 
Jeff Cool is retired FDNY firemen serving with both Ladder 19 and Rescue #3.He retired after 14 1/2 years of service after sustaining massive career ending injuries on January 23rd ,2005 . Jeff previous served with as an Airport Firefighter at Stewart International Airport , Newburgh , N.Y. Jeff proudly served his country with both the United States Air Force and New York Air National Guard as a firefighter for over 20 years .He is a life member of the Rockland County Volunteer Firefighters Association. He has received numerous citations and medals, which include WTC rescuer, Class II medal, the Emily Trevor Warren Medal, The Daily News Hero of the Month and was the Grand prize recipient of Firehouse Magazine Heroism Medal in 2004. Jeff is an advocate for firefighter safety and lectures across the country on Black Sunday and the need for personal safety systems for firefighters. He is a trustee with the Lieutenant Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation. Jeff also is an advocate and speaker for the New York Blood Center (Jeff’s life was saved by 72 strangers who graciously donated blood) Jeff also has taken part in numerous fundraising campaigns for our Veterans and first responders.

Eugene Stolowski
I have been a Firefighter for 34 years. 25 of those years with the FDNY in Ladder 27 and the Family Assistance Unit. On January 23 2005 I was one of 6 members forced to jump out of the 4th floor of a Bronx Tenement that was illegally converted. I am a frequent speaker at the FDNY Fire Academy and across the country. I am the Secretary for the FDNY Fire Family Transport Foundation. I am a Nationally Certified Instructor II , Safety Officer and Peer Counselor.
Brendan Cawley
Firefighter Brendan Cawley is an active member of the Fire Department of New York. He started his career Sept. 12, 2004 and after completing his training was assigned to Ladder Company 27 in the Bronx. On January 23rd, 2005, just 35 days after his first tour in the fire house, Firefighter Cawley and five other members were forced to jump from top floor windows while fighting a fire in an illegally converted apartment building. After the fall, Firefighter Cawley suffered multiple injuries throughout his body. He spent the better part of 3 years undergoing surgery, healing and rehabilitating from the physical and mental trauma he suffered, before returning to full duty, from what is now known in the fire service as Black Sunday. Firefighter Cawley is a graduate of The State University of New York, College of Oneonta with a degree in Communications. He is an instructor at the FDNY Fire Academy Probationary Firefighter School and has spoken at both the Captain and Chief Development courses given by the FDNY. Firefighter Cawley has completed courses on Mental Performance and now speaks on the impact it has on the fire ground. After the events of Black Sunday, he has been speaking with departments across the country and sharing his experience so others can learn from the tragic events of that day.

Safety and The Battle-Ready Mindset – Deputy Assistant Chief Frank Leeb 

Drawing on his more than 30 years in the FDNY and more than 40 years of volunteer (EFFD) firefighting experience, Chief Leeb will deliver real world lessons learned and best practices. Each of the examples presented will be from his personal experience. Chief Leeb will emphasize the importance of the battle-ready mindset, playing to win, training, teamwork, fireground strategy and tactics, safety and teamwork, extinguishment, search and safety cultures and how they coexist for optimal outcomes. It is about staying learnable and motivating your team to achieve desirable outcomes on game day.
From the new firefighter up to the chief, you will leave this presentation motivated and better prepared for the next emergency response.

Frank Leeb
Deputy Assistant Chief Frank Leeb has served the FDNY since 1992. He is the Chief of Safety for the FDNY’s 17,000 employees. His previous staff positions include the Chief of Training and the Chief of the Fire Academy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in fire service administration from SUNY Empire State and a master’s degree in security studies from the Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS). Frank has been a member of the FDNY since 1992. Frank has also been a member of the East Farmingdale Fire Department since 1983 (Long Island NY). He has served as an advisory panel member for UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute’s (FSRI) “Study of Coordinated Attack in Acquired Structures” and is a principal on the NFPA Technical Committees 420, 1585, and 1710. He was also the keynote speaker for Firehouse Expo in 2022 and was a presenter at the 2022 U.S. Fire Administrator Summit on Fire Prevention and Control. Frank Can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Building the Plane as we fly it – Li-Ion Batteries in practice – The Hazmat Guys 

The news has exploded with news of battery incidents lately. No place on Earth has been experiencing more than New York City. Take a journey with the guys who are on the ground handling the incidents, how the process has evolved, what we are currently doing, and where this is going. Plenty of time will be allowed for discussion.

This course will go in-depth into the following topics related to hazmat scenes:
• Theory and practical application of energy storage systems
• Practical application of insults and their outcomes
• Real-world guidelines and anecdotal as well as white-paper findings on this topic

Bobby Salvesen – The Hazmat Guys
Bobby Salvesen has been a firefighter since 1994. Beginning his career in the East Meadow Volunteer Fire Department, he quickly rose to the position of Chief in 2014. During this time, he attended the New York Institute of Technology for Chemistry and is currently again in College at SUNY Old Westbury. He also began a career in New York City, originally in EMS and transferring to Fire in 2000. Following September 11, Bob transferred to Squad 288 in the Special Operations Command of FDNY. He attained a Specialist rating in Special Rescue and HazMat during his tenure there. In 2013 Bob transferred “across the floor” to the Hazardous Materials Company 1. While in the only HazMat Company in NYC, he has extended his knowledge by attending any available courses nationally. He is an Instructor for the New York State Fire Service Academy and a Chief Instructor for the Nassau County Fire Service Academy. He also teaches industry all levels of HazMat and Confined Space rescue. Bob and Mike Monaco created the HazMat Guys Podcast in November of 2015 to grow the community in the Hazardous Materials field, seeing that there was none to speak of. The intent was to collaborate and communicate not only nationally but globally.

Michael Monaco – The Hazmat Guys
Michael Monaco started his career in emergency services in 1998 and has continued to serve to the present. In that time, he has served as a firefighter, a fire officer, and a member of multiple specialty units, including marine response, dive team, high angle and confined space rescue. Mike immersed himself in the world of hazmat in 2005 when he transferred into one of the most prestigious hazmat teams in the country, FDNY's Hazmat Company One. Early in his hazmat career Mike discovered he had the unique ability to teach and explain hazmat chemistry in a way that could be understood by colleges and students alike. Mike started the world of teaching in 2008. working as curriculum development and classroom instruction for FDNY, IAFF, various industrial settings. This is where his passion for teaching grew and he has since spent nearly two decades bringing Hazmat to Life.
He holds a degree from SUNY Stonybrook University in Neurological Physiology (the study of the nervous system). In 2015 Mike and Bobby teamed up to Bring hazmat responses to the podcast world with The Hazmat Guys Podcast.


Fire Ground Strategies: Strategic Decision-Making – Deputy Chief Anthony Avillo (ret.) 

This presentation will cover the decisions that need to be made regarding fire scene strategy determination based on the arrival and/or forecasted conditions. Strategy selection considerations, strategy modification cues, and offensive-to-defensive / defensive to offensive strategic transition will be a focus for discussion. Situational fire topics will be discussed and highlighted by case studies and lessons learned from past incidents. Areas of focus will include below grade fires, attached and closely spaced buildings, cockloft fires, exposure issues, and large area buildings. We will further discuss the recognition of when an exterior strategic opportunity presents itself, precipitating a transitional strategy as the initial fire ground action. Additional insights into strategies and tactics to make a transitional attack more effective will be covered. Further, additional alarm considerations as well as the importance of standard operating procedures as the foundation of fire ground control and the importance of progress reports from all operational areas as the basis of ongoing review/evaluation/revision requirements. A must for the Incident Commander.

Anthony Avillo
Anthony retired as deputy chief of North Hudson (NJ) Regional Fire & Rescue after 30 years in the fire service. He is the author of Fire ground Strategies, 3rd ed. (2015) and coauthor of Full Contact Leadership (2017). Avillo is the Region 3 Director of the ISFSI. He is a member of the Fire Engineering Editorial Advisory Board and was the recipient of the 2012 IFSFI George D. Post Instructor of the Year Award. He has a B.S. degree in fire science and an M.S. degree in national security studies.

2023 Joey D Seminar HOT Programs

Full Day Programs
• Eckert Fire Tactics – Two Day Program
• Commercial Fire Operations – Full Day Program
• Elevator Emergencies and Rescue – Full Day Program

Half Day Programs
• Taxpayer Fires
• Residential Fires
• Standpipe Operations
• High Rises Fires and Operations
• Basement Fires/Flashover
• Lithium-Ion Battery Fires
• Truck Company Roof & Outside Vent Operations
• Forcible Entry
• Advanced Forcible Entry
• RIT Operations
• Be That Guy! – Self Rescue/RIT
• High Stress Operations
• Setting Up for Success – Aerial & Tower Ladder Operations
• Fire Behavior
• Pumping Operations
• Hose & Hand line Operations
• Brass Tacks – Hard Facts – Know Your Flow
• Window of Opportunity
• Heavy Lifting/Advanced Auto Stabilization
• Man vs. Machine
• Confined Space Operations
• Rope Rescue Operations
• Tower Rescue
• Trench Rescue
• Collapse Operations 

How the Seminars Help

In addition to the valuable training offered, the seminars also serve as fundraisers for the Foundation. The proceeds from the seminars are used for the grant program that helps departments in need to provide personal life safety rope systems and related training to firefighters.

Our Seminar Speakers and Instructors 

Since the first seminar in 2013, many speakers and instructors who have honored Joey by helping us train hundreds of firefighters. The Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation would like to thank the following instructors and speakers for helping us remember Joey.

■ Chief of Department Tom Richardson, FDNY (Ret.)
■ Chief of Department Ed Kilduff, FDNY (Ret.)
■ Deputy Chief  / Author Vinnie Dunn, FDNY Division 3 (Ret.)
■ Battalion Chief / Author John Salka, FDNY Battalion 18 (Ret.)
■ Firefighter Jeff Cool, FDNY Rescue 3 (Ret.; Black Sunday Survivor)
■ Captain Michael M. Dugan, FDNY Ladder 123 (Ret.)
■ Captain Bob Morris, FDNY Rescue 1 (Ret.)
■ Captain Tony Tricarico, FDNY Squad 252 (Ret.)
■ Firefighter John O’Connell, FDNY Rescue 3 (Ret.)
■ Battalion Chief Joe Downey, FDNY Rescue Operations; FEMA USAR NY Task Force 1
■ Captain Rex Morris, FDNY Captain Rescue Operations
■ Deputy Assistant Chief Bill Siegel, FDNY Special Operations Command (Ret.)
■ Battalion Chief Tom Martin, FDNY Battalion 3 (Ret.)
■ Captain Lou Andrade, FDNY Engine 69 & 320 (Ret.)
■ Fire Marshal Bill Rohr, FDNY Bureau of Fire Investigation
■ Lt. Kevin Yoos, FDNY Squad 270 (Ret.)
■ Chief Chris Eysser, FDNY Battalion 50
■ Firefighter Chris Botti, FDNY Squad 1
■ Captain Doug Mitchell, FDNY Ladder 38
■ Firefighter Mike Dragonetti, Stanford, CT Rescue (Ret.)
■ Assistant Chief Rob Shannon, NYC Transit Authority (Ret.)
■ Deputy Chief Joseph DiBernardo, FDNY Division 6 (Ret.; Father of Joey D)
■ Chief Rick Lasky, Lewisville, TX Fire Department
■ Chief Billy Goldfeder. Loveland-Symmes, OH Fire Department
■ Battalion Chief Frank Montagna, FDNY Fire Academy (Ret.)
■ Lieutenant Mark Gregory, FDNY Ladder 176
■ Dan Madrzykowski, Fire Protection Engr., NIST
■ Captain John Ceriello, FDNY Rescue 1

■ Division Chief Ron Moore, McKinney FD (Ret.)
■ Lieutenant Mike Ciampo, FDNY Ladder 45
■ Battalion Chief Gerald Tracy, FDNY (Ret.)
■ Deputy Assistant Chief John Norman, FDNY Special Operations Command (Ret.)
■ Lieutenant Mickey Conboy, FDNY Rescue Co. 3
■ Captain Thomas Gardner, FDNY Squad 8 (Ret.)
■ Deputy Chief Mike McPartland, FDNY (Ret.)
■ Deputy Chief Jay Jonas, FDNY, Division 7 (Ret.)
■ Fire Chief Robert Fling, Dix Hills Fire Department (Ret.)
■ Chief Dennis Rubin (District of Columbia & Atlanta FD (Ret.)
■ Lieutenant Ray McCormack, FDNY Ladder 28 (Ret.)
■ Lieutenant/USMC Major Jason Brezler, FDNY Squad 252
■ Battalion Chief John Cagno, North Providence Fire (Ret.)
■ Lieutenant Tim Klett, FDNY Engine 88 (Ret.)
■ Captain/Author Bob Farrell, FDNY Ladder 31 (Ret.)
■ Lieutenant Dan Gordon, FDNY Division 3 
■ Chief Leigh Hollins Cedar Hammock FD (Ret.)
■ Brian Kelley / Instructor
■ Will Hickey / Instructor
■ Firefighter Bob Athanas, FDNY Rescue 3 (Ret.)
■ District Chief Mo Davis
■ Steve Sanguedolce / Instructor
■ Chief Scott Thompson
■ Chief Dennis Rubin
■ Chief Robert Fling
■ Cody Trestrail / Instructor
■ Captain Bob Eckert / Instructor
■ Navy Seal Ryan Parrot
■ Navy Seal Aaron Tucker 

Past Seminars


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