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Firefighter Fatalities
News: Firefighter Fatalities

Costly Lessons: What We've Learned From Firefighter Deaths

A City Limits investigation looked at FDNY fatalities over 20 years, finding common factors and tracking the city's efforts to address them.

Out of 9/11 Tragedy Came Change for FDNY

Serious problems with the emergency response on 9/11 contributed to the loss of rescuer lives. A decade later, FDNY counts itself much better prepared. But some questions remain.

This Building Killed 1 Firefighter but May Save Dozens

Two fires 10 years apart at one high-rise in the Rockaways helped convince the FDNY to reconsider its time-honored tactics when dealing with wind-driven fires.

When Fire Wins: Causes of FDNY Deaths

Each of the FDNY's line-of-duty deaths over the past 20 years involved a unique person and unique circumstances. But according to investigations by the FDNY and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, common contributing factors link many of the incidents.

Firefighter Decisions Hold Lives—Including Their Own—In Balance

The FDNY is committed to "aggressive, interior firefighting." When that's the plan, equipment, training and manpower are all less important that human decision-making.

Deadly Fires, 9-11 And Beyond: A Reading List

From the 9-11 Commission to reports on individual firefighter tragedies, check out these links to learn more about the FDNY and firefighter fatalities.

Firefighters' Heart Risks Get New Attention

Heart attacks are the single largest threat to firefighters' lives, with everything from stress to heat to noise at fire scenes elevating the risk factors.

The New 911: Emergency Calling Changes

Problems with the performance of the 911 system on Sept. 11 led the Bloomberg administration to undertake a four-pronged emergency communications transformation program

Diversity and the Department: The FDNY Recruitment Battle

The upcoming firefighters' test represents the latest attempt in a 40-year effort to try to diversify the mostly white, overwhelmingly male FDNY.

New Phase of Building Code Changes Looms

In the wake of the World Trade Center collapse, the city undertook a comprehensive revision of its building and fire codes. Fire safety advocates didn't get all they wanted. Will they have another chance in the next round?

Fire Inspections: Closed Doors Aren't the Only Barrier

After an April fire killed a family in a building that had been illegal converted, City Hall established a new task force to improve inspections. Some pols pushed for more aggressive action. But there's more to improving building safety than political will.

Ten years after September 11th, City Limits revisits the day's very costly lessons and what the New York City Fire Department has learned them. This investigation was supported generously by the Fund for Investigative Journalism and the George Polk grants for investigative reporting administered by Long Island University.

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Firefighter's Death Will Trigger Search for Answers - Jarrett Murphy

It likely won't be until the period of public mourning is over that we'll learn what caused the demise of Lt. Gordon Ambelas.

Building Collapses Pose Threat to Responders - Jarrett Murphy

Civilians appear to have been the victims of today's tragedy in Harlem. But building collapses also pose a grave threat to firefighters and other responders.

Heart Attacks Are Biggest Threat to Firefighters - Jarrett Murphy

In the department's first line-of-duty death in more than two years, the FDNY lost a 17-year veteran to what appeared to be a heart attack at the scene of a warehouse fire in Brooklyn.

Following the Story: Nationwide, Firefighter Deaths Drop - Jarrett Murphy

The number of on-duty deaths dropped by 7 percent nationwide. New York City closed out another year without a fatality during an operation, despite responding to 23,000 blazes.

Watch a Wind-Driven Fire - Jarrett Murphy

With FDNY a key partner, federal scientists have been experimenting with better ways to fight wind-driven fires. Watch what happens in this test when a window in a burning room fails.



Firefighter for a Day

By Jarrett Murphy

Firefighter for a Day

After months reporting a story on the FDNY, all it took was three steps into a smoky room for this reporter to realize how much he didn't know.



FDNY report on fatal fire, November 23, 2008

The fatal fire investigation report on the death of Lieutenant Robert J. Ryan, Jr. of Engine 155 at 39 Van Buren Street, Staten Island.

FDNY report on fatal fire, January 3, 2008

The fatal fire investigation report on the death of Lieutenant John H. Martinson of Engine 249 at 1700 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn.