James J. Johnston Memorial medal to FDNY's wind-driven fire project team


(L to R) Captain Thomas Yuneman, Lieutenant John Ceriello, Irene Sullivan, Kristin Eng, Battalion Chief Gerald Tracy, Battalion Chief George Healy, Deputy Chief John Mooney


The above-listed FDNY members were the core group of people who worked on the Fireproof Multiple Dwelling Wind-Driven Fire Project. The City of New York has experienced too many injuries and fatalities to civilians and members of the Fire Department as a result of these kinds of fires. The FDNY needed a new, alternate method of extinguishing fires affected by high winds. This smoke-control research was field-tested in Toledo, Ohio, Chicago, and New York City (on Governors Island). As a result of this testing, the Department started a pilot, employing positive-pressure fans, wind control devices, and a high-rise nozzle for fire extinguishment. Scientific testing and measurement, assisted by the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), proved the effectiveness of these tools and new approaches to firefighting.

Additionally, the team developed a training DVD that covered safe operations for Fighting Wind-Driven Fires in High-Rise Multiple Dwellings and the use of this equipment. This program was funded by a federal grant through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DHS has used this endeavor as a model on how to effectively use federal grants to solve problems. This project was highlighted at major fire conferences in Denver and Washington, DC. DHS has just awarded the Department $1.4 million to continue with the expansion of the pilot program and training.

Because of the teamís constant oversight and dedication, this undertaking was a tremendous success. This project will positively affect how all fire departments operate at wind-driven fires in fireproof multiple dwelling buildings. For their unwavering commitment to research that will save the lives of firefighters and members of the public, the FDNY presents the above-listed members with the James J. Johnston Memorial Medal.