The FDNY Pro podcast brings together professionals and experts in the field of Fire and EMS, offering their firsthand knowledge and experience. Hear from the pros as they discuss what they’ve learned on the front lines.
Here's the Latest Episode from FDNY Pro:
Fighting top floor fires in H-Type buildings or large multiple dwellings is complicated and challenging. FDNY Lieutenant Michael Scotto, a 41-year member of the Department currently working at Ladder 58 in the Bronx, joins host Battalion Chief Brian Mulry to discuss the operational challenges Firefighters have as well as tactics they employ to fight fires in these type buildings.
This episode is being released in conjunction with FDNY Safety Week 2020. For the first time ever, the FDNY is sharing our Safety Week training and information on fdnypro.org. The FDNY and FDNY Foundation would like to thank the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation for making this possible. The theme is: “Get To Know Your Gear,” which focuses on the personal protective equipment (PPE) the Department uses day in and day out. This year, there could not be a more pertinent theme than maintaining protective measures for each member’s personal safety, as well as for the people they interact with. As discussed in this episode with FDNY Chief of Safety Michael Meyers, properly donned PPE is a lifesaving tactic. Battalion Chief Brian Mulry hosts.
Kimberley Laychock is a 21-year veteran of the FDNY who is serving on the frontlines of the Coronavirus outbreak in New York City. Sunday, May 17, 2020, marks the start of EMS Week 2020, an annual week-long initiative to promote public safety among all New Yorkers and celebrate the life-saving efforts of more than 4,400 members of FDNY’s Emergency Medical Service. The FDNY celebrates this in conjunction with National EMS Week. Each year during EMS Week, the FDNY unveils a poster which is intended to raise greater awareness about the life-saving work of FDNYs EMTs and Paramedics. The 2020 poster features seven members of the FDNY Emergency Medical Service, including Laychock. In this episode, she shares her COVID-19 experience with host Chief of Staff Elizabeth Cascio, and her passion for helping others in their greatest hour of need.
Even in a vertical city like New York, high-rise construction continues to expand into the outer boroughs where fire companies need to be ready to respond. Thirty-eight year veteran fire officer, Lt. Ray McCormack discusses the Department’s Standpipe Operations and Training. Battalion Chief Brian Mulry hosts. Please note, this episode was recorded prior to the COVID-19 emergency in NYC.
Donna Jaworski is saving lives as an FDNY EMT–again. Jaworski previously served as an FDNY EMT before leaving the Department in 2003 to raise her family. She was also a September 11th first responder, having worked at the World Trade Center site during the rescue and recovery effort. In 2019, she decided to come back to the job she loved. In February 2019, she joined the ranks of FDNY EMTs once more, graduating as class valedictorian. Chief of Staff Elizabeth Cascio hosts. Please note, this episode was recorded prior to COVID-19 emergency in NYC.
This is our annual Pro Fit episode, which seeks to promote and provide practical ideas for first responders who are looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 2020 marks the 50thanniversary of the New York City Marathon. The event is the largest marathon in the world and the signature event of the New York Road Runners. In this episode, head of the FDNY Running Club, Denis Sweeney, and one of the fastest Firefighters to cross the finish line, Tim Clarke, discuss the benefits of teaming up with the Department’s runners. Battalion Chief Brian Mulry hosts.
This episode marks a milestone for the FDNY Pro Podcast. In this 50th episode we revisit highlights from each of our previous four seasons. From our very first guest from the FDNY Office of Medical Affairs, Dr. Dario Gonzalez, recounting his trip to Liberia where he provided care to Ebola patients, to seasoned fire officers like Lt. Mike Ciampo and Capt. John Ceriello who detail their experiences at challenging operations, to testimonials remembering 9/11, the show covers the gamut. This podcast strives to celebrate first responders and offer resources to peers in the public safety community. Chief of Staff Elizabeth Cascio hosted the very first episode of this podcast and, fittingly, hosts the 50th.
Incidents involving active shooters, violent extremists, barricade situations or other acts of aggressive deadly behaviors represent some of the most challenging responses to the first responder community. These types of responses test the capabilities of first responders—including mass-casualty care. The FDNY is the primary response agency to mass casualty incidents in New York City, which continues to be a potential target for domestic and international terrorism. Captain Gregg Brady spearheaded an innovative approach to FDNY Warm Zone Triage to quickly address severely injured patients in an environment under possible threat. Chief of Staff Elizabeth Cascio hosts.
As of October 2019, more than 1,300 members of the FDNY are veterans or military reservists. That includes Fire, EMS and civilians. As a paramilitary agency, the Department’s organizational structure, tactics, training and culture resembles that of the U.S. Armed Forces. In this episode, FDNY Firefighter and US Marine Corps Captain Recordo Demetrius discusses his life of service and the parallels between the fire service and military. Demetrius is currently assigned to Ladder 174 in Brooklyn, New York. He has served as a Drill Instructor for the FDNY’s Probationary Fire School and was a NYPD police officer prior to joining the FDNY. Recordo is also a combat veteran having served in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Fire and Emergency Services from John Jay College. Deputy Chief Michael Barvels hosts.
Encountering unusual circumstances on the fireground is a frequent experience for veteran Bronx Lieutenant Mike Ciampo. But, in his nearly three decades of experience with the Department he had never encountered this type of unusual fire escape. In the early hours of September 9, 2018, a fire in an upper Manhattan large, six-story multiple-dwelling presented challenges to the members when fire extended rapidly, vertically and horizontally, to three other apartments from unusually located wood doors. Lt. Ciampo returns to the podcast. Hosted by Battalion Chief Brian Mulry.
On March 6, 2017, the FDNY launched its first ever tethered drone to respond to a fire in a 6-story building on Crotona Park North in the Bronx. It was a ground-breaking moment. After September 11, 2001, the need for enhanced situational awareness of the incident scene became a priority. Recommendations for improved communication and technology found in the 2002 McKinsey & Company Report, Increasing FDNY’s Preparedness, highlighted the fact that the FDNY should seek the ability to receive audio and video feeds from new Fire Department technology. In this episode, members of the FDNY Drone Unit, Battalion Chief Anthony Pascocello and Captain Michael Leo explain the evolution of this emerging capability set and the complexity of flying in an urban environment. The FDNY works closely with the FAA to ensure the drone operates safely and adheres to all rules and policies regarding airspace in New York City. Battalion Chief Brian Mulry hosts.
Lillian Bonsignore currently serves as the highest ranking officer in FDNY EMS. On 9/11, Chief Bonsignore didn’t hold an official leadership role, but she responded to the World Trade Center hoping to save lives. Having arrived after the first tower fell, Chief Bonsignore quickly realized that the mission was more recovery than rescue. In this episode, hear Chief Bonsignore recall the events of that day as she experienced them and the lasting impact the events had on her and the way she leads members of the Department. Chief of Staff Elizabeth Cascio hosts.
With limited access, egress and ventilation fighting cellar fires is one of the most challenging scenarios firefighters face. Not knowing what you might encounter behind the cellar door makes the advance down the cellar steps difficult and dangerous. FDNY Engine Officer, Lt. Tim Klett of Engine 88, sits downs with Battalion Chief Brian Mulry to recount his experiences fighting a recent fire in a Bronx residential, wood frame dwelling where members were met with fire at the cellar door.
Each year, in celebration of National EMS Week, the FDNY holds its Annual Second Chance Ceremony. This special event reunites cardiac arrest survivors with the Paramedics, Emergency Medical Technicians, FDNY EMS Officers, Firefighters, Dispatchers, bystanders, and other first responders who helped save their lives. 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of this emotional ceremony in the FDNY, which began with the generous support of the Pintchik family. Listen to this episode to learn more. Chief of Staff Elizabeth Cascio hosts.
The misuse of prescription opioids is one of the most significant public health issues in our country. According to health officials, providing access to effective care may prevent misuse and the consequences—such as overdose. So to better comprehend substance abuse, in this episode, we’ll be hearing a conversation between Lt. Andrew Kane and Dr. Robert Friedman. Lt. Kane is the Program Director of the FDNY-Counseling Service Unit Addiction Treatment Program. Dr. Friedman is the Associate Medical Director at Geisinger Marworth Treatment Center in Pennsylvania and has worked extensively with patients in the First Responder community.
Construction at the World Trade Center site showcases some of the most forward-thinking building and fire prevention features ever designed and implemented. In this episode, Lt. John Amsterdam of Ladder 10 talks about some of these features which are featured in two WNYF articles, 01/2017 “An Update on World Trade Center Construction” and 03/2018 “Standpipe and Sprinkler Systems to Protect the WTC Site.” Battalion Chief Brian Mulry hosts.
In military training you often hear the adage, “train as you fight, fight as you train.” And in sports you often hear, “you play the game the way you practice.” Both of these truisms have rightly migrated into EMT and Paramedic training courses. There is evidence that the use of high-fidelity simulations in EMS training improves the patient care of the most life-threatening emergencies because this type of training fosters development of teamwork skills and critical thinking all while operating in a “safe space.” In this episode, Lieutenant Kate Frawley walks listeners through some of the types of simulation training FDNY members receive. Chief of Staff Elizabeth Cascio hosts.
Rapid fire events are a rare phenomenon that even the most seasoned Firefighter may never encounter during their careers. And while there is much still to learn about what environments or tactics are best suited to avoid them, there are some patterns to their occurrences. In this episode, FDNY Captain John Ceriello shares signs and symptoms of an impending event, what structures they are most likely to happen in and how recent jobs in the Manhattan and Queens can reinforce lessons learned on these potentially deadly instances. Battalion Chief Brian Mulry hosts.
Photo credit: Joseph John Ramos
Training for an athletic event with a team brings lots of benefits, including improved performance and accountability. Even when participants compete as individuals, the opportunity to connect with others is there. In this episode, FDNY Firefighters David Guilford and Michael Reno talk about their involvement with the Department’s Triathlon and Boxing teams—from training to game day—and the many advantages sport lends to their careers as first responders.
The Fire Department of the City of New York is continually looking to advance the opportunities for young people to become part of the City’s Bravest. To help support this goal, the Department has created a Youth Workforce Development Initiative. To date, this initiative’s programs have helped many New Yorkers pursue and accomplish their dream of becoming a member of the Department. In this episode, listeners will hear from Assistant Commissioner for FDNY Youth Workforce and Pipeline Programs, Michele Maglione, as well as an outstanding, young alumnus of the FDNY High School, Denzel Adonis. Chief of Staff Elizabeth Cascio hosts.
Frequent drilling and communication prior to arrival at a fire is critical to proper apparatus positioning. Veteran FDNY members, Battalion Chief Christopher Eysser and Lt. Ray McCormack discuss efficient and effective placement techniques of the FDNY’s fleet that can elevate performance on the fireground and even help save lives. Battalion Chief Brian Mulry hosts.
During the early morning hours on September 17, 2016, Bronx Box 2759 was transmitted for a commercial occupancy fire. While entering the occupancy and on their initial size-up, no units had encountered any signage for steel plating and were surprised to find it both on the exterior and interior of the building. In this episode, Lt. Michael Ciampo, a member of the FDNY since 1991, recounts this challenging operation and highlights how the FDNY successfully overcame obstacles at this fire. Battalion Chief Brian Mulry hosts.
Chief James Booth is a 35-year veteran of the FDNY with experience responding to some of the most significant natural and manmade disasters to occur during his career. Chief Booth responded to the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 and the terrorist attacks on September 11th. He served as part of the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) response team to the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and has also participated in USAR deployments to the Dominican Republic following Hurricane Georges and New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. He was appointed Chief of EMS in 2015. In this role, he supervises 4,300 EMTs, Paramedics, EMS Officers and civilian employees and is responsible for overseeing operations, planning, strategic initiatives and logistics. In this episode, hear how Chief Booth’s leadership is fueled by his reminiscences. Chief of Staff Elizabeth Cascio hosts.
On August 2, 1978, twelve FDNY Firefighters plunged into a burning Waldbaum’s Supermarket when the bowstring truss roof collapsed at the center of the store. Six of the Firefighters made the Supreme Sacrifice. In this episode, retired FDNY Captain Howard Venetsky, who was working in Rescue Co. 2 on the day of the fire, talks about the event. Captain Venetsky was inside the building when the collapse occurred, impressing upon him inestimable lessons learned from the fireground. Because of this fire, all FDNY members are now taught from Probationary Firefighter School on the dangers of bowstring truss construction. Captain Sean Newman hosts.
Pre-hospital care providers face many potential job hazards, including exposure to and handling of hazardous chemical substances. In this episode, FDNY EMS Lieutenant Robert Carlo discusses the types of chemical exposures Department Emergency Medical Services members are exposed to, how to identify the symptoms of a chemical exposure and some measures used to protect themselves and their long-term health. Captain Farooq Muhammad hosts.
Nearly 26 years ago, the first NYC EMS Museum opened on the grounds of Fort Totten in Bayside, Queens. In 2013, it was closed to make way for some much needed construction. The NYC EMS Museum reopened in May 2018 to display how the FDNY’s EMS grew from humble beginnings as the nation’s very first municipal ambulance service to the busiest provider of pre-hospital emergencies—responding to more than 1.4 million calls annually. Chief James “JP” Martin, who retired in 2010, spent years researching the history of the ambulance service while Captain Jack Quigley managed the construction of the 400-square-foot museum. The museum is curated with antique uniforms, equipment, and highlights those who have dedicated their lives in keeping New Yorkers safe. Chief of Staff Elizabeth Cascio hosts.
The FDNY’s Reduce Your Risk project was established in 2017 by the Department’s Contamination Reduction Workgroup to increase awareness of the cancer risk faced by Firefighters and promote the proactive measures that should be taken to combat this deadly, but frequently, avoidable occupational hazard. FDNY Deputy Chief Joseph Jardin, Acting Chief of Safety, wrote about this important initiative in the WNYF 1st/2018 article, FDNY and Cancer Risk Reduction. Battalion Chief Brian Mulry hosts.
On March 16, 2018, FDNY Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kerry Kelly retired after 37 years of dedicated service. The FDNY has set the standard for monitoring the health and well-being of its members and Dr. Kelly was instrumental in getting that done. Dr. Kelly began the FDNY program of Annual Medicals, which is a yearly medical examination that became even more essential after 9/11. Because the FDNY performed yearly medical exams on all first responders, this Department had the baselines that helped illustrate (and actually prove in some circles) that 9/11 debris and dust did impact the health of first responders. Hear more about this and Dr. Kelly’s background and experiences in this episode. Chief of Staff Elizabeth Cascio hosts.
In 2017, for the first time ever at the FDNY Academy, the majority of Rescue Paramedic trainees were women. Rescue Paramedics bring advanced pre-hospital care to any civilian or member of service in a precarious position while extrication procedures take place. Members selected for this program must undergo and complete intensive training at the Department’s Technical Rescue School which includes confined space training, collapse training, trench removal and high-angle rescue operations. In this episode, veteran Rescue Paramedic, Silvana Uzacategui, and recent program graduate, Krista O’Dea, recall and compare their experiences training and in the field. Chief of Staff Elizabeth Cascio hosts.
Given the rigorous demands of first responders’ jobs and increased risk for cardiac events, finding a fitness routine that works is critical. In this episode, the head of the FDNY Fitness Unit, Captain Thomas Tanzosh, gives listeners an inside look at how the FDNY trains its Probationary Firefighters and incumbent members, what it takes to earn the Deputy Chief Orio Palmer Fitness Award—the Department’s highest honor awarded by the Fitness Unit—and more. Lieutenant Jon Paul Augier hosts.
The FDNY, in partnership with the FDNY Foundation, is proud to have spearheaded the annual Medical Special Operations Conference (MSOC). MSOC continues to be the conference that military, federal, state and local emergency medical responders attend to share their experiences, best practices, and ideas. In this podcast, FDNY Medical Director Doug Isaacs and Rescue Paramedic Juan Henriquez give listeners an inside look at how MSOC came to be and continues to evolve to include current hot topics, the latest medical technological updates, and recent case studies from around the world. Continuing Education Units (CEU) are available at the conference to paramedics, nurses, physician assistants and physicians. At this time, the MSOC takes place over four days and consists of workshops, lectures, panel discussions, hands-on skills scenarios, and a vendor showcase with the latest equipment, and products. The optional pre-conference workshops have several choices and include a visit to the FDNY Fire Museum and the World Trade Center site. Chief of Staff Elizabeth Casio hosts.
The chain of survival is a series of steps, which give a victim of cardiac arrest the best chance of survival. Early CPR is an important link in this chain, but far too often it is administered too late, or not at all. FDNY Deputy Chief James Darnowski discusses the importance of bystander intervention in the event of a cardiac arrest, and some of the work the FDNY Mobile CPR Unit is undertaking in training the public to become potential lifesavers. Captain Elizabeth Cascio hosts.
FDNY Battalion Chief Robert Ingram and Firefighter Joseph Iovino, both founding members of HazMat Company 1, discuss their unit’s origins, specialized training and protocol, and role in modern day disaster response. They examine major incidents they’ve personally been involved in, and discuss what it takes to be part of a city-wide response team. Captain Sean Newman hosts.
FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Lillian Bonsignore discusses the qualities of a successful leader, recognizing that rank doesn’t necessarily translate to success in leadership. Guidelines and protocols are in place to guide us, but it’s important to be able to adapt and overcome difficulties in dynamic situations. Chief Bonsignore provides insight into unlocking our own leadership abilities, and stresses the importance of recognizing the everyday accomplishments of dedicated members, rather than spending too much time focusing on mistakes. Captain Elizabeth Casio hosts.
FDNY Chief Joseph D. Liselli recounts response measures and operations during the 2016 Chelsea bombing. Lieutenant Jon Paul Augier hosts.
FDNY Lieutenant Yonatan Klein discusses how the FDNY researches, develops and selects the best tools and equipment for members. Lieutenant Farooq Muhammad hosts.
FDNY Captain Charles Fraser details how to maximize and expand your resources for a mass casualty incident. Lt. Farooq Muhammad hosts.
FDNY Lieutenant Stephen Rhine sits down to discuss the intricacies of operating at emergencies in air-supported structures, an increasingly popular form of construction. Lieutenant Jon Paul Augier hosts.
FDNY Captain Frank Leto describes how the FDNY Counseling Service Unit’s Peer Support Groups support all members with an array of services. Captain, and Executive Officer to the Fire Commissioner, Elizabeth Cascio hosts.
FDNY Captain Chris Ward discusses the role that intelligence plays for first responders, including how the FDNY keeps terrorism awareness on the front lines through its weekly intelligence product, Watchline. Captain Sean Newman, of the FDNY Center for Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness, hosts.
FDNY Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kerry Kelly and FDNY Attending Cardiologist Dr. Dianne Acuna discuss how to recognize heart disease as well as the effects that heart disease has had on the first responder community at large. Lieutenant Jon Paul Augier hosts.
FDNY Lieutenant Farooq Muhammad reaches over one million views for his video, “EMS Anthem,” and discusses what inspired him to create music about the job he describes as a calling. Captain, and Executive Officer to the Fire Commissioner, Elizabeth Cascio hosts.
FDNY Firefighter and US Marine Corps Major Jason Brezler describes the FDNY’s new Mental Performance Initiative by detailing his experiences on the battlefield in the Middle East and on the fireground here in New York City. Lieutenant Jon Paul Augier hosts.
FDNY Firefighter Kenny Ruane (retired) shares what it was like to be saved by the Department he served for over four decades after going into cardiac arrest just days before Thanksgiving in 2015. He also talks about the impact of being reunited with his rescuers at the annual FDNY Second Chance Brunch. Captain, and Executive Officer to the Fire Commissioner, Elizabeth Cascio hosts.
Chiefs Jay Jonas and Brian Mulry recount operations, decisions, and lessons learned while operating at a complex fire in a multiple dwelling in the Bronx. Lieutenant Jon Paul Augier hosts.
Firefighter Anthony Caterino describes the importance of the FAST Unit in maintaining firefighter safety during an emergency operation. Chief Jay Jonas joins the conversation detailing his past experiences being deployed as a FAST Unit Captain during a rope rescue. Lieutenant Jon Paul Augier hosts.
Retired Chief Allen D. Hay shares the memories that his father, Deputy Chief Allen Hay, passed down to him about his response to the 23rd Street Fire in 1966. Chief Hay, who retired as Assistant Chief of Safety, also details safety measures that have been modified and implemented since the 23rd Street Fire. Captain Sean Newman, of the FDNY Center for Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness, hosts.
Deputy Chief Vincent Dunn and Assistant Chief Edward Butler (both retired) talk about their experiences operating at the 23rd Street Fire in this special anniversary podcast. Chief Dunn and Chief Butler also discuss implications and lessons learned throughout the decades that have followed. Captain Sean Newman, of the FDNY Center for Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness, hosts.
Dr. Asaeda recollects 9/11 by describing the medical oversight that he provided as the attack on the World Trade Center unfolded. Dr. Asaeda describes his decisions on topics such as patient care and preparations for a mass casualty incident. Captain, and Executive Officer to the Fire Commissioner, Elizabeth Cascio hosts.
Deputy Assistant Chief Olszewski recounts her experiences as a then-newly promoted EMS Captain. She discusses the decisions that guided staging, triage, transportation and other considerations for EMS operations on 9/11. Captain, and Executive Officer to the Fire Commissioner, Elizabeth Cascio hosts.
Battalion Chief Joseph Abbamonte sits down and details the complexities of marine operations in New York City harbor, home to one of the busiest ports in the country. He discusses the tools, training, preparedness and response measures of the FDNY marine unit. Lieutenant Jon Paul Augier hosts.
Lieutenant Robert Brown discusses some of the effects of stress on the body during fire operations, including auditory exclusion. He walks listeners through the body’s response during a highly stressful event and offers suggestions for countering unwanted physical responses to stress. Lieutenant Jon Paul Augier hosts.
Lieutenant Joseph Yolles discusses the importance of training personnel who operate emergency vehicles. He describes in great detail how FDNY administers its training program to ensure safe operations on New York City streets. Captain, and Executive Officer to the Fire Commissioner, Elizabeth Cascio hosts.
EMTs Shaun Alexander and Khadijah Hall discuss the decisions first responders face to act while off-duty and how Alexander and Hall applied those principles during a shootout in Brooklyn in which they helped save the life of an NYPD officer. Captain Elizabeth Cascio, Executive Officer to the Fire Commissioner hosts.
Lt. Jon Paul Augier sits down with Battalion Chief Joseph Downey, a 31-year veteran of the FDNY who is currently assigned to the Rescue Battalion of the Special Operations Command. Listen as Chief Downey discusses the FDNY’s response to the eight-story building collapse on 38th Street in Manhattan in October of 2015. Chief Downey also discusses the logistics of major technical rescues.
Doctor Dario Gonzalez, FDNY Office of Medical Affairs Physician, interviewed by Captain Elizabeth Cascio, Executive Officer to the Fire Commissioner and 32-year veteran of Emergency Medical Service. Doctor Gonzalez serves as the FDNY representative for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) assignments and activities. At the height of the Ebola outbreak, Doctor Gonzalez volunteered to go to Liberia where he provided direct patient care to Ebola victims. Listen in as Cascio and Gonzalez discuss his experience.