Deputy Assistant Chief John Norman is a veteran of more than 37 years in the fire service, including 27 years with the FDNY, the majority of that time in Special Operations units. Chief Norman served as a firefighter with Engine Co. 290, Ladder Co. 103 in Brooklyn, Rescue Co. #3, and helped organize Hazardous Materials Company #1 at its inception in 1984. As a Lieutenant, he served with Rescue Co.#2, in Brooklyn, and as the Captain of Rescue Company #1. While still assigned to Rescue 1, John worked with the Safety Command and the Fire Commissioner’s High Rise Fire Safety Task Force, investigating and then developing high-rise fire safety legislation in the wake of the fatal Vandalia Avenue and Macauley Culkin fires. Promotion to Battalion Chief in 1999 brought assignment to Battalion 10 and the Y2K Preparation Task Force before assignment to Battalion 16. In the days after September 11th, 2001, and the collapse of the Twin Towers, John was designated as the Search and Rescue Manager for the World Trade Center site. He operated in that position for two months before assuming the job of Chief of Special Operations on a full-time basis. He was subsequently promoted to Deputy Chief in June of 2003, remaining in Special Operations. In August 2004, Chief Norman was promoted to Deputy Assistant Chief, and once again designated as Chief of Special Operations, in addition to being a citywide tour commander, responsible for all operations of the New York Fire Department during his 24 hour shift.
Chief Norman attended Oklahoma State University, majoring in Fire Protection Technology. After college he worked as a Fire Protection Engineer for a major N.Y.C. fire protection contractor, designing sprinkler, standpipe, and other fire protection systems for many buildings in the Metro New York area, including such famous addresses as 666 Fifth Avenue, and portions of the ill-fated World Trade Center. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Service Administration from Empire State College of the State University of New York. He attended the first FDNY/USMA-West Point Combating Terrorism Leadership Program in 2003, and is a graduate of the FDNY/Columbia University Fire Officers Management Institute.
Chief Norman has been an adjunct instructor at the Fire Academy on Randall’s Island, teaching in the Chief Officers Development Course, the Confined Space Rescue, Building Collapse Rescue, and the Foam Coordinator’s/Flammable Liquid Training courses. A Task Force Leader with the New York City Urban Search and Rescue Task Force, John has taught in the Rescue Specialist Training Course given by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to the nation’s 28 U.S.A.R. teams. He has been decorated for valor nine times. He is also the author of the best selling “Fire Officers Handbook of Tactics” and its accompanying study guide, and is the author of a chapter on Pre-Incident Planning in the Handbook of Fire Protection. He has written extensively for such fire service magazines as WNYF, Fire Engineering, and Firehouse, and served on validation committees for the International Fire Service Training Association dealing with the following training manuals; Ventilation, Fire Service Rescue, Building Construction Related to the Fire Service, and Terrorism.
I just purchased your 3rd edition handbook, and it looks great. I'm looking forward to your seminar here in September. Will you discuss the reasons why WTC 1, 2, and 7 collapsed catastrophically in your presentation? Believe it or not, there are people on our FD who believe the conspiracy theory nonsense about why those buildings collapsed.
Good luck on your new DVD, I asked Mark Haugh to give you our Firefighter Survival DVD for your review. If you could offer a comment Pennwell could use for the back cover that would be great. We are rereleasing with each segment in WMP files for instructors and company officers to use as well as the DVD. I think you will like the format and the common scene approach we took. You have been a big influence in my career and I thank you. If you were unaware our case is going to the US Supreme Court in April. We talked about it on the phone 5 years ago. Your book was one of the smaller issues in the case. They stated that it only applied to NY. I thought that would give you a good laugh. Bobby’s March editorial will deal with the case in March.
If you would offer a comment send to Ricci@firefightersafety.net thanks
Through this group, my understanding of High-Rise tactics has grown immensly (excuse the poor spelling), and I know others have as well. For instance, in Oklahoma City we have a little over 100 High-Rises but we have very few fires in them. As our city high-rises change from mainly office highrise to residential highrise our fires in thes buildings are increasing, so what I've learned from the brothers in this group has been tremendous.
Thanks for adding me as one of your friends Chief. It would be an honor if you would check out the High-Rise Group and hopefully join the group. People from all over the country are using this group to improve their high-rise operations and I am sure your input would be extremely beneficial.
Chief, I didn't get a chance to attend when you were in Cincinnati, I hope my department took care of you. We spoke briefly at FDIC in the speakers room. I look forward to renewing our acquaintance at FDIC 2009.
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