For the Record 1/23

Jan. 9, 2023
Longtime Firehouse Magazine Contributing Editor Robert Burke Inducted into Hall of Legends, Legacies, and Leaders

Longtime Firehouse Contributing Editor Burke Honored by NFHC

Robert Burke will be inducted into the National Fire Heritage Center’s (NFHC) Hall of Legends, Legacies, and Leaders. He was the contributing editor who authored the Hazmat Studies and Hazmatology columns for many years in Firehouse Magazine.
The award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to and distinguished themselves in the fire and emergency services and fire protection disciplines and are known in the national and/or international arena.
“Firehouse is clearly the main reason I met this requirement,” Burke tells Firehouse Magazine.
Burke’s first Firehouse article was published in 1987, and he says that ever since then, he was able to uncover stories that might never have seen the light of day if not for his work for the publication. Sources that fed into his reporting included the U.S. Secret Service, the FBI and the Hazardous Materials Safety Division of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
“There is nothing in my career that I am prouder of than my affiliation with Firehouse. I am humbled and truly grateful for the opportunities that I have had while writing for (the magazine),” Burke says.

UL’s FSRI’s Escaping High-Rise Fires Video

UL’s Fire Safety Research Institute’s (FSRI) new video, “Plan Your Escape: High-Rise Apartment Fire,” combines research footage with 3D modeling to show fire growth and spread through an apartment, hallway and stairwell, presenting what can happen when doors are left open.
“As we know, without closed doors, potential exit routes can be blocked by smoke within minutes,” FSRI’s Jennifer Williams said. “Following the many high-profile high-rise fires this year, resulting in many injuries and deaths, this is a pivotal time to ensure the public knows what to do whether there is a fire in their home or somewhere else in their building.”
By combining the video with FSRI’s “Fire Escape Plan Guide,” fire departments can help their community to create and practice fire escape plans.
For more information, go to

Staffing Shortages Solutions

A new suite of solutions from Mission Critical Partners (MCP) is designed to help public sector organizations, including fire/rescue and EMS, to cope with acute staffing shortages. This comes in the form of outsourcing numerous recruiting- and hiring-related tasks and activities that such organizations are unable to perform effectively in house. This includes streamlining the job-application process, creating marketing materials, and creating or enhancing social media presence.
The hiring workflows of fire/rescue and EMS organizations often have too many steps, with the result being that they take too long to make job offers to viable candidates, the company says.
“No matter what an organization needs to address the current staffing crisis, MCP can provide it,” Darrin Reilly, who is MCP’s president and CEO, said. For more information, visit
Jönsson Named President of SFPE
The Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) named Jimmy Jönsson its 2023 president. Jönsson is the director of JVVA Fire & Risk and currently serves as an officer on the SFPE board of directors and the editor of SFPE Europe magazine.
“SFPE’s 2023 elected leaders have the depth, diverse experience and dedication needed to advance the Society, our strategic direction, and the profession of fire protection and fire safety engineering,” Nicole Boston, who is SFPE’s CEO, said.
The advancement to which Boston referred includes the organization’s efforts to reach engineers across the globe.
SFPE also announced the election of Bob Libby as president-elect. Libby is senior vice president and principal of fire protection engineering at Coffman Engineers.
Jönsson and Libby began their terms on Jan. 1, 2023.
For information about the election of other SFPE executives, go to
Pierce Volterra Recognized by Popular Science
On the heels of being named the “Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin,” the Pierce Volterra zero-emissions pumper won a 2022 Popular Science “Best of What’s New Award.” The pumper’s recognition comes in the Emergency Services and Defense category.
The “Best of What’s New” list for 2022 is composed of 100 technologies and products.
More details on the recognition are available at
IAFC Relocates Headquarters
The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) moved its headquarter offices to the Tyson’s Corner area of Fairfax County, VA, from Chantilly, VA. Reasons for the relocation include better access/easier transportation between the headquarters and Capitol Hill and other government agencies. The move is in line with the IAFC’s board of directors’ pandemic recovery plan as well as contributes to the association’s long-term strategic, financial and operations goals.
Visit for more information.
Firefighter Cancer Support Network Partners with IAFF
The Firefighter Cancer Support Network and IAFF are partnering during January 2023’s Fire Fighter Cancer Awareness Month. The partnership delivers targeted education and best practices and resources to reduce the effect of cancer on firefighters. These include fact sheets, podcasts, survivor stories and training briefs. The materials focus on the scope of the cancer problem, prevention, leadership tactics to encourage prevention and skills to help departments to reduce their risk of occupational cancer.
To access the materials, go to
Emotional Wellbeing for First Responders’ Families

“The Wolf Was Not Sleeping” is designed to enable first responders to open conversations within their families to help them with the emotional challenges that first responders can face within their roles. The book was issued by Foundation 1023, which is a charity that supports the emotional and mental wellness of first responders.

Although family members know and appreciate their loved ones’ job, those family members are exposed to the dangers of these professions by TV shows, movies and the internet, Foundation 1023 Founder Melody Mesmer said. “Many children develop a fear of having their family member injured or killed while at work, and it can be disruptive to their daily normal,” Mesmer added. “Unaddressed, these fears can become intrusive and disrupt school, time with friends and sleep cycles.”

The book is sponsored by FirstNet Built with AT&T and Cisco and was distributed to more than 50,000 police officers, firefighters and EMTs in the Dallas, Houston and Austin, TX, areas in December 2023.

For more information, go to

Line-of-Duty Deaths

Two U.S. firefighters died in the line of duty. One died at the scene of a motor vehicle accident, and one died from a health-related incident. This issue of Firehouse is dedicated to these firefighters.

FIREFIGHTER JOHNNY TETRICK, 51, of the Cleveland Division of Fire, died on Nov. 19. Tetrick responded to a motor vehicle accident on Interstate Highway 90. While he cleaned up debris from the incident, a vehicle drove around the emergency scene, struck him and fled. Tetrick immediately was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The driver that hit Tetrick was apprehended

CAPT. BASIL PIZZUTO, 49, of the Saddle Brook, NJ, Fire Department, died on Nov. 23. On Nov. 22, Pizzuto conducted SCBA refresher training with fellow members of the department. The following morning, while at his full-time job, he suffered a heart attack. EMS personnel arrived at the scene and were able to revive Pizzuto. He was rushed to the hospital, where he remained conscious and alert. Pizzuto then fell ill and was taken into emergency surgery. He passed away a short time later.


In the November 2022 issue of Firehouse, in “SCBA & Firefighter Packaging,” the description of an alternative method to the process of converting SCBA straps to a harness should have noted that the method begins with a 20-foot piece of one-inch tubular webbing, not a 20-inch piece. We regret the error.

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