We Will Never Forget

June 28, 2011

IT IS ALMOST 10 YEARS SINCE THE 9/11 TERRORIST ATTACKS at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville, PA. Firehouse® begins the remembrance with several programs during the Firehouse Expo this month in Baltimore, MD. Firefighters at each of these locations faced the worst day of their lives. Everyone who responded has a story to tell. In one of the most amazing feats of survival, FDNY Deputy Chief Jay Jonas, who at the time was the captain of Ladder 6, was trapped in a stairway with 14 other people after the North Tower collapsed. It took rescuers several hours to locate that stairway. Jonas, calm under fire, gave specific instructions for those coming to look for him. He told them to come in the front door of the North Tower and take the B stairway up to the second through fourth floors, but he couldn’t understand why firefighters kept asking where he was located. Jonas didn’t realize the route he was describing didn’t exist anymore. When he was eventually able to see light in what was once a dark 110-story high staircase, he started to wonder what happened to the 106 floors that were above him and his crew. This keynote address is one of the highlights of our opening ceremonies to mark the upcoming 10th anniversary of 9/11. It is one of the best programs we have put together to date. See for yourself. Join us in Baltimore, July 19-23. Visit www.firehouseexpo.com for more details.

SPEAKING OF STORIES TO TELL, Firehouse® is proud to announce the publication of WTC: In Their Own Words. This 276-page book captures approximately 100 interviews with firefighters who were on the scene of the World Trade Center attack. These amazing stories take the reader around the 16-acre site – from the 35th floor in the North Tower to the first floor in the South Tower. We also interviewed more than a dozen firefighters who survived one or both collapses that destroyed the Marriott Hotel. This book has an assortment of stories by those who operated at the World Trade Center. These firefighters describe the conditions inside the towers, running for their lives and how several located civilians and firefighters, many who were injured. For information on ordering this book, visit www.firehouse.com/wtcbook.

THE NATIONAL FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION (NFPA) has announced that 72 firefighters died in the line of duty in the United States in 2010. This was a sharp drop from the 105 on-duty deaths in 2008 and 82 in 2009 and it is the lowest annual total since the NFPA began conducting the annual study in 1977. This is the fifth time in the past 10 years that the total number of deaths is below 100. Last year saw the lowest number of fireground deaths ever (21) and the second lowest number of deaths while responding to, or returning from, alarms (18). There were 44 volunteer deaths in 2010, which also continues a downward trend.

IN HIS CHIEF CONCERNS COLUMN ON PAGE 128, Contributing Editor Dennis Rubin advises anyone who is seeking a leadership position in the fire service to “Be a Lifelong Learner.” As I mentioned last month, Firehouse® has partnered with retired Phoenix, AZ, Fire Chief Alan Brunacini to present the three-day “Fire Chief Leadership Retreat” this month at Firehouse Expo, in cooperation with Columbia Southern University. About a year ago, the Brunacini Leadership Institute was established by the university’s president, Robert Mays Jr., to focus on developing and improving fire-rescue leadership at all levels. If you’re interested in becoming a fire chief or taking on more responsibility within your organization, you will want a seat at this presentation. Look for registration directions in this issue or contact Columbia Southern University at [email protected] for more information.

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