HAL BRUNO Hal Bruno, a FirehouseÂ® contributing editor, retired as political director for ABC News in Washington and served almost 40 years as a volunteer firefighter. He is a director of the Chevy Chase, MD, Fire Department and chairman of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation...
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Vincent Dunn, a FirehouseÂ® contributing editor, is a 42-year veteran of the FDNY and a deputy chief (ret.), serving as division commander for midtown Manhattan. A nationally renowned lecturer, he is the author of the best-selling text and video series Collapse of Burning Buildings and the textbooks Safety and Survival on the Fireground and Command and Control of Fires and Emergencies. Dunn has a masterâ€™s degree in urban studies, a bachelorâ€™s degree in sociology and an associateâ€™s degree in fire administration from Queens College, City University of New York.
Firehouse: Please describe the largest or most significant fire you responded to in your career.
Dunn: The 23rd Street collapse on Oct. 17, 1966, was the most significant fire I responded to during my 42-year career. The fire started in a residence building at 7 E. 22nd St. and a floor collapse occurred in a drug store at 6 E. 23 St. This collapse killed 12 New York City firefighters. The first floor collapsed in the Wonder Drug Store and the firefighters died in the cellar. This fire was significant to me because it triggered 20 years of research, study and writing on the subjects of collapse of burning buildings, firefighter safety, command and control of fires, and strategy of firefighting.
Firehouse: What are some of the most significant advances in the fire service in the past 30 years?
Dunn: Some of the most significant advances in the fire service during my 42 years were the use of breathing equipment, portable radios, aerial platforms, bunker gear, enclosed cabs of fire apparatus with seats and seatbelts, the incident management system, safety chiefs, the National Fire Academy, and last but not least NFPA 1500.
Firehouse: What have you been a proponent of during your career?
Dunn: I was a proponent of identifying fireground dangers, especially building collapse and the management and control of these collapse dangers.
Firehouse: What do you see changing or needs to change in the next 30 years in the fire service?
Dunn: In the future, I see better portable radios for use by firefighters in high-rise building fires; more use of defensive firefighting in high-rise and low-rise buildings; establishing a point of no return to limit distances interior searches are made without hoseline protection; use of heat-warning devices on helmets; signals for emergency building evacuations ordering firefighter withdrawal when a hazard is discovered; no interior overhauling procedures after master streams have been used for total extinguishment due to the collapse danger the water streams create; and defensive firefighting where a structure fire involves lightweight truss construction.
Firehouse: What has your involvement with FirehouseÂ® Magazine meant to you and to our readers?
Dunn: I do not know what it has meant to the readers; but for me, FirehouseÂ® Magazine was an opportunity for writing four books: Collapse of Burning Buildings; Safety and Survival on the Fireground; Command and Control of Fires and Emergencies; and my latest book, Strategy of Firefighting â€“ How to Extinguish Fires. The information in all of these books first appeared as FirehouseÂ® Magazine articles.
Alan Brunacini, a FirehouseÂ® contributing editor, recently retired as chief of the Phoenix Fire Department, which he joined in 1958. After holding the positions of firefighter, engineer, captain, battalion chief and assistant chief in his first 20 years, he was promoted to chief in 1978. Brunacini is a graduate of the Fire Protection Technology program at Oklahoma State University and earned a degree in political science at Arizona State University. He graduated from the Urban Executives Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, followed by a master of public administration degree from Arizona State. Brunacini is the chairman of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1710 Technical Committee for Fire Service Organization and Deployment Projects for paid departments. He is past chairman of the NFPA board of directors, the first active fire service member to hold this position in NFPAâ€™s 100-year history. He is also past chairman of the Fire Service Occupational Safety and Health Committee of NFPA. Brunacini has authored Essentials of Fire Department Customer Service, Fire Command, Timeless Tactical Truths and Command Safety.