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Press Releases / 2012 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NOVEMBER 19, 2012



Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano will join family members, colleagues and friends of Lieutenant Joseph DiBernardo to honor his memory at a plaque dedication ceremony at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, November 20 at the quarters of Rescue 3, 1655 Washington Avenue, in the Bronx.

"Those who served with Lieutenant Joseph DiBernardo, and those who loved him, will always feel his loss," said Mayor Bloomberg. "With today's unveiling of a plaque in his honor we are expressing our pride in his courage, and in the example of leadership and service that he set. He showed all those qualities on that infamous "Black Sunday" almost eight years ago."

"Lieutenant Joseph DiBernardo suffered debilitating injuries that ended his career, and ultimately cost him his life, when he bravely put the life of a fellow Firefighter before his own," said Commissioner Cassano. "Joe spent a lifetime protecting the city and teaching other Firefighters how to safely perform the most difficult rescues. The plaque bearing his name and his inclusion on the FDNY Wall of Honor insures that his story and what he meant to the Department will live on forever."

Lt. DiBernardo suffered critical injuries on "Black Sunday" - January 23, 2005 - when he and five other firefighters were forced to jump from a fourth floor window after being trapped by fire. Lt. Curtis Meyran and Lt. John Bellew died that day from their injuries. As a result of his injuries, Lt. DiBernardo endured multiple surgical procedures, and years of medical treatments and physical therapy. He retired from the FDNY in January of 2006 and at the time of his death was taking numerous pain medications, which the Suffolk County Medical Examiner cited as determinate in his accidental death on November 22, 2011.

Lt. DiBernardo was appointed to the FDNY on October 15, 1995 after first working for the Department as a Fire Alarm Dispatcher in the Bronx Communications Office. In his 16 years as a New York City Firefighter, Lt. DiBernardo was assigned to Ladder 56 in the Bronx, Engine 47 in Manhattan, Engine 238 in Brooklyn, and Squad 61 and Rescue 3 in the Bronx. In addition, he taught rescue training at the FDNY Technical Rescue School. Lt. Dibernardo also served as a volunteer Firefighter in the Setauket Fire Department in Suffolk County, NY. He is survived by his father, Retired FDNY Deputy Chief Joseph G. DiBernardo, and his mother, Barbara.


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano, Chief of Department Edward S. Kilduff, Chief of Operations James Esposito, many FDNY members and their families.


Quarters of Rescue 3, 1655 Washington Avenue - the Bronx


Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 10 a.m.

***Photo Op***

Press Contact: Francis X. Gribbon & Frank Dwyer, (FDNY) (718) 999-2056


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