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FDNY Calls on Marvel Superheroes

FDNY Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano unveiled a new fire-safety comic book from the creative team at Marvel Comics featuring two of Marvel’s top characters and several of the FDNY’s top fire safety tips. “Comics and Marvel superheroes are increasingly popular with both children and adults,” said Commissioner Cassano. “Making the fire-safety message entertaining is a great way to bring it to an even larger audience. We know that the work done by this Department and the FDNY Foundation to teach people of all ages how to make themselves and their homes fire safe has had a direct relation to the decrease of fire deaths in New York City.”

The FDNY Foundation, the non-profit arm of the FDNY, and Marvel Comics collaborated to produce this comic book for Marvel fans, both young and old. The comic book features FDNY firefighters and Marvel superheroes together as they battle both fire and supervillains. Along the way, Marvel superheroes teach valuable fire-safety knowledge learned from the FDNY. The 10-page comic features a cliffhanger ending, which sends the reader to the FDNY Foundation website,, to see the story's resolution. These limited edition comic books will be distributed free at FDNY Fire Safety Education events, and at the FDNY Fire Zone in Rockefeller Center (, while supplies last.

Bravest Edge Finest in Emotional Game

The FDNY (the Bravest) recently squared off against the NYPD (the Finest) in the 38th annual FDNY/NYPD hockey game at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY. Prior to the game, both teams stood at center ice and watched a video tribute to their colleagues who died on 9/11. While many of the younger players weren’t active members 10 years ago, FDNY coach Joe Byrne makes sure they never forget what happened that day. “He doesn't talk about it a lot,” said FDNY’s Jim Becker, the game’s MVP. “But he’s helped us understand what 9/11 was about.”

The FDNY earned its third straight win in the series, with a 6-5 overtime victory. Proceeds from the game went to help loved ones of FDNY and NYPD members killed in the line of duty. The FDNY Hockey Team is a not-for-profit organization comprised of FDNY firefighters and officers who donate their time and efforts to raise funds for several charities each year. Past charities include the UFA Widows and Children’s Fund, the Thomas Elsasser Memorial Scholarship Fund, the New York State Fallen Firefighters Memorial and the Teddy Bears That Care Program. The FDNY Hockey team competes in charity events and tournaments worldwide, including the upcoming World Police and Fire Games in New York City this August.

North Carolina Fireman Honored

Ed Weigl has given everything he has to the state of North Carolina, serving as a volunteer firefighter for more than 44 years. On March 7 of this year, the state gave back. Governor Beverly Perdue honored Weigl with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award. The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, which is among the most prestigious awards presented by the Governor of North Carolina, is given to individuals who have a proven record of extraordinary service to the state. Contributions to their communities, extra effort in their careers, and many years of service to their organizations are some of the guidelines by which recipients are selected for this award. A state employee can be awarded The Order if the employee has contributed more than 30 years of dedicated and enthusiastic service to the state of North Carolina. Past winners include Maya Angelou, Billy Graham, Michael Jordan and Charles Kuralt.

Weigl joined the fire department in 1968 and has held every position, including chief for 3 years. He was elected treasurer in 1997 and still holds that position today. The ceremony was held Weigl’s station, No. 7 Township Fire and Rescue in New Bern, NC. Alton Riggs, a local fire tax commissioner and childhood friend of Weigl’s, presented the award on behalf of the governor.

Call for Photos

As the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches, we’re collecting images of 9/11 memorials from around the country. Is there a 9/11 memorial at your station or in your community? Send a hi-res image to us at Firehouse Magazine, 3 Huntington Quadrangle, Suite 301N, Melville, NY, 11747 or e-mail them to


Firefighters Make Bird Rescue in Bowie

The Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department, which was recognized by the Humane Society of the United States with a 2010 Humane Civil Servant Award for services provided in rescuing animals, was at it again.

On March 18, a citizen went to the Bowie Fire/EMS Station #843 in Pointer Ridge and described to firefighters that a bird was hanging from a string atop an approximately 50-foot tree.  The citizen stated numerous people were witnessing the heartbreaking event and many were visibly shaken by the sight of the distressed bird attempting to free itself.
The combined forces of volunteer and career firefighters proceeded with an engine and tower ladder to the area of the BBT Bank in the 16400 block of Heritage Boulevard just off of Route 301 in a busy commercial area of stores, restaurants and professional buildings.  Firefighters saw the bird entangled with a string, which was wrapped around an upper branch on the tree.  After discussing the safest course of action, firefighters determined that the Tower Ladder could easily and safely reach the bird with little risk to the firefighters.  The Pointer Ridge Tower Ladder elevated the bucketed platform to a point where Volunteer Lieutenant George Joslyn could reach the branch and cut the string to free the bird.  However, the bird, a Common Grackle, had sustained injuries while trying to frantically free itself and could not fly.
The bird was brought down by Lt. Joslyn, much to the appreciation of the citizens who watched the rescue, and provided it to a member of the Fire/EMS Department's Citizen Services Unit (CSU).  CSU Steve Stearns placed the bird into an animal container and sought a facility that could care for the injured bird.  He made arrangements with the 4-H Center in Upper Marlboro and the Davidsonville Wildlife Sanctuary to accept and care for the bird.

HFSC Honored with Sarbanes Award

The Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) have selected the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) as the recipient of the 2011 Senator Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Service Safety Leadership Award.  Named after retired-Senator Paul S. Sarbanes of Maryland, a strong advocate of our nation's firefighters and rescue personnel during his 36-year career in Congress, the award recognizes organizations for their outstanding contributions to firefighter health and safety.

CFSI President Bill Jenaway and NFFF Chairman Dennis Compton issued a joint statement recognizing the HFSC for its achievements.  “As members of the fire service who recognize the need and benefits of home fire sprinklers, we have appreciated for many years the important work of HFSC.  In local communities throughout the nation, the Coalition is making a difference in educating the public about the life-saving benefits of home fire sprinklers.  Our two organizations take great pride in recognizing the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition with the presentation of the 2011 Senator Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Service Safety Leadership Award.”

For more information about the award, visit the CFSI and NFFF websites ( and

Coleman Garners Lankford Leadership Award

The Congressional Fire Services Institute's Board of Directors selected Chief Ronny Coleman as the recipient of the 2011 CFSI/Motorola Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award. Established in 1998, the Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award recognizes individuals who have been proactive at the local, state, or federal government level to improve fire/emergency services and life safety issues.  The award exemplifies the work of the late Mason Lankford, whose legacy resonates in the message he would impart calling for a stronger fire service without leaving anyone behind.

Coleman currently is chairman of the International Accreditation Service's Technical Advisory Committee on the Accreditation of Fire Prevention Bureaus, president of the National Fire Heritage Center and an author of more than 19 textbooks for the fire community. A prolific writer, dynamic speaker and passionate leader, Coleman has been at the forefront of many advances in firefighter leadership, safety, fire prevention, code enforcement, training and technical innovation.

“Ronny Coleman’s remarkable career has had an immeasurable impact on our nation's fire and emergency services,” said CFSI President Bill Jenaway.  “On so many of the major issues involving firefighter safety, Ronny has been at the forefront advocating and challenging others to embrace the cause of firefighter and public safety.” 

Past recipients of the CFSI/Motorola Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award include: Kevin O'Connor, International Association of Fire Fighters; Hal Bruno, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation; Chief Dennis Compton, International Fire Service Training Association; and Chief Raymond M. Downey, FDNY (who was given the award posthumously).


Now That’s Recycling! Members of the Sayville, NY, Fire Department pose in front of a vehicle donated by Gershow Recycling for the fire department’s extrication exercise. In support of local Fire, Rescue and Emergency Medical Services crews, Gershow Recycling donated the vehicle for an extrication exercise in which firefighters extricated a “victim” from a car involved in a “crash” using the Jaws of Life.


Fire Risk Reports Released

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has issued three special reports, as part of its Topical Fire Report Series, examining the risk of death or injury from fire by various demographics, such as age, race, and gender. Fire Risk in 2007, Fire Risk to Children in 2007, and Fire Risk to Older Adults in 2007 were developed by the National Fire Data Center, part of USFA. The reports explore factors that influence risk and are based on data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), and the U.S. Census Bureau. These reports are an update of the previous fire risk reports that were issued in April 2008. These reports are designed to explore facets of the U.S. fire problem as depicted through data collected in NFIRS. Each topical report briefly addresses the nature of the specific fire or fire-related topic, highlights important findings from the data, and may suggest other resources to consider for further information. For more information regarding other topical reports or any programs and training available from the United States Fire Administration, visit

Dodger’s Fire Truck Dream Comes True

Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal is from the town of Loma de Cabrera in the Dominican Republic. The town has about 7,000, one fire department, but no fire truck. So Furcal decided to do something about it. The idea of sending a fire truck to his hometown came up during his last contract negotiations. General Manager Ned Colletti was so impressed that he actually had it put in as part of Furcal’s contract “I talked to the Dodgers, and wondered if they could help me out,” said Furcal. “And they made my dream come alive.”

On February 15, the Dodgers Dream Foundation, in conjunction with the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) and the charity Los Bomberos, presented Loma de Cabrera with its first fire truck. The LAFD donated the retired truck, the Foundation paid for it to be shipped to the Dominican Republic and Los Bomberos, a nonprofit group of L.A. firemen who help third-world countries obtain retired fire trucks, helped refurbish the truck and will send representatives to Loma de Cabrera to train local firefighters how to use it.

“If I tried to do it by myself, I would have been very difficult,” said Furcal.

“Going Further” For Organ Donations

Last year, Westport, CT, firefighters Joseph Arnson and Peter Janulis launched “Firefighters Going Further,” a program to encourage fellow firefighters to become organ and tissue donors. More than 60 firefighters, and some members of their families, are now registered locally. But that was just the first step. Their next goal is to raise awareness throughout the Westport community about the dividends of becoming a donor. That effort kicked off with a “Donate Life” flag-raising ceremony at the fire department headquarters on April 4. The flag was signed by each member of the department. “Our job is to protect and save lives, so it seemed like a natural progression to have the ability to do so in death,” said Arnson. The firefighters believe that although some firefighters may go their entire career having no direct role in saving someone, as an organ and tissue donor, they can save many lives in a matter of hours or days. The April 4 flag-raising ceremony included speeches by Fire Chief Christopher Ackley, Donate Life Connecticut Program Director Kari Mull, and double-lung transplant recipient and Firefighter George Carmen, who traveled from his home state of Maine. "Firefighters Going Further" plans to reach out to other fire departments in the area. Community parents are also being encouraged to sign up their under-18 children as donors, since many children also need organ and tissue transplants. For more information on how to register to become an organ and tissue donor, log onto

NVFC Announces 2011 Award Winners

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has announced the winners of its four national awards. A special banquet was held in Alexandria, VA, to honor the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Fire Prevention Award, Junior Firefighter of the Year Award, and Junior Firefighter Program of the Year Award.
“We are very pleased to honor the 2011 NVFC award recipients and recognize the amazing contributions they have made to the emergency services,” said NVFC Chairman Philip C. Stittleburg. “Outstanding departments and individuals from across the country were nominated for these four awards, and the recipients that were chosen truly exemplify outstanding service and commitment to the fire service. We thank you for all you do to strengthen the emergency services and protect your communities.”
This year’s winners were: Chief Glenn Jernigan – NVFC Lifetime Achievement Award; Kenneth Pagels – NVFC Fire Prevention Award; Lake Carmel, NY, Fire Department – NVFC Junior Firefighter Program of the Year; and Brendan Finley-Davis – NVFC Junior Firefighter of the Year.

Recipients of the NVFC’s four national awards received a trip to Alexandria to attend the award ceremony, a personalized award, and complimentary one-year membership in the NVFC, and other items. In addition, members of the Junior Firefighter Program of the Year will spend a day on Capitol Hill meeting their Congressional representatives. Learn more about the NVFC’s awards program at