Firehouse Expo Speaker Profile: Robert Ginley

Robert Ginley will be at Firehouse Expo in July and presenting "Live-burn Experiments in the Lab: Do They Translate to the Fireground?" Find out more about Battalion Chief Ginley and his program below.

What will attendees to your program walk away with?

My hope is that the students have confidence in what is occurring based on the UL and NIST experiments are being applied in the field. I will also give them a ventilation size-up to include in their pre-fire plan. Areas where I focus this program include communication, coordination and control are the key to proper ventilation.

What is the story behind your class?

Around eight years ago, the chief of the FDNY fire academy asked me to review a program on reading smoke, and after extensive discussions on the subject there were many unanswered questions. I was then asked to attend a class given by NIST's Dan Madrzykowski and I was very interested in what he was teaching. A short time later I was invited to the UL facility in Illinois where Steve Kerber was performing fire dynamics and ventilation testing for private dwellings. Six months later I was invited back to join a panel who discussed the results. After this I was sold on the fact that the FDNY and the fire service in general had to change the way we view ventilation. Upon return from this trip, I was asked to develop a class to be given at the fire academy, for all ranks. Today I teach fire dynamics and ventilation to all the new captains and battalion chiefs in the FDNY.

Tell us about your time in the fire service.

I have 29 years with the FDNY. I was a firefighter for 12 years in Engine 50 and Ladder 19 in The Bronx and then a lieutenant for five years assigned to Engine 307 in Queens. The first 18 months I was captain, I was assigned to the fire academy and then worked at Engine 62 in The Bronx. For six years I have been a battalion chief and I am assigned to Battalion 3 in The Bronx.

What has been the highlight of your career?

I have been blessed with a great career, working in some of the best firehouses in the New York City. When I was first assigned to the fire academy to teach, I didn't think it would be something I would like. I liked being in the firehouse. Looking back it turned out to be one of my best experiences. I very much enjoy being involved in both developing some of the most important training at the fire academy as well as teaching and passing on my knowledge to the future leaders of the department.


What’s one piece of advice that you can give to Firehouse Expo attendees to make it a great experience?

I have been involved with this program for a long time and have had many in-depth conversations with both Dan Madrzykowski and Steve Kerber. Come prepared with questions if my presentation doesn't answer them, I will leave time to take questions. Firefighting is a dangerous profession. If the fire service makes fire dynamics and ventilation a part of their pre fire size there will be fewer firefighter fatalities and serious burn injuries. Come with an open mind and you will leave with a new perspective on the effects of ventilation, and a few tips to make you safer when you operate at your next fire.?

The 31st Firehouse Expo will take place in Baltimore, MD, July 15-19, at the Baltimore Convention Center. This year's conference offers over 90 education sessions, including hands-on training, in-depth workshops and classroom sessions. Find out more about Firehouse Expo, the exhibitors who will be showcasing their products and learn how to register go to: