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FDIC 2013: Lifetime Achievement Award

Thu, 25 Apr 2013|

Professor Glenn Corbett received the 2013 FDIC Tom Brennan Lifetime Achievement Award during the General Session.



[SOUND] [MUSIC] A bunch of people made a lot of terrible mistakes and we came and did what we could to get them out of a jam. I'd say friend, if you hadn't screwed up I wouldn't be here. The best [INAUDIBLE] is that all of my people would they run into all of you. The whole secret to this business, I think, is to know your job as infinitely and as interconnected as you possibly can. It's very important to know. The enemy is fire, and how the enemy spreads convection, conduction, radiation. And you gotta know your battlefield. You're gonna do battle on the fireground, so you gotta know the battlefield. The premiere position that the workers in this room have put this service in is that we are the most popular service, we're the most accepted service, and we're the most trusted service. We have two in and two out, and I says because firefighters are worth saving. His message was always to make a difference, to live life so that you were leaving a mark. This award shows our family that he truly made a difference. If you've been in fires a lot, no matter how experienced you are, you gotta have somebody on, on your shoulder, tellin' you that, you know, they're backin' you because, you don't know. There are times when you say, And God just get me through this you know, I'll be a good boy. And I'll go to church. I'll sign up. I'll take care of everything. Get me through this! [MUSIC] It's a super thing. And I am very appreciative of this award. I would just like to leave one simple little message today, especially to the younger people. You can make a difference. If my father were here this morning, he would, he would remind us of a cold hard fact that no leader is any greater than the men and women that he is called to lead. To be able to work in an occupation which brings tremendous personal satisfaction and to enjoy the association. With the marvelous people we have been privileged to work with makes firefighting enviable to those sentenced to much more mundane walks of life. I think, like most people that, that have these things happen to them, they realize that they really stand on the shoulders. There's of, People who have gone before them. people who stand next to them and, and people they admire. You can travel around, and you can preach the message about professionalism, and safety, and what fire fighters do for this country, then I think it's all worthwhile. Somewhere in this. [MUSIC] In this room, there is someone that will be up here on this stage accepting this warden, this award in the future, because this is the group that is the leadership of the fire service. I'd like to begin by expressing to each of you how honored and privileged I am to have been selected as this years recipient of the Tom Brennan Lifetime Achievement. Tommy's gentleman who's done so much for this fire service. A person who I could call my friend. And to be associated with his legacy is a phenomenal point in my life. Tom Brennan [LAUGH] Lifetime Achievement Award. I don't know how I even fit in that equation anywhere, but I'm truly truly humbled, and honored. You, you'll be up here, somebody, one of you will be up here next year. Thank you. Ilene, receiving this award in your father's name is a privilege. It was Tom who encouraged me to write in Jim Murtog's class. To the FDIC fire engineering family, the Indianapolis Fire Department, my old FDIC education group, and to my beloved friend, the late Steve Out. As a team, there was nothing we could not accomplish in making this the greatest fire service conference in the world. [MUSIC] Ladies and gentleman, the FDIC Lifetime Achievement Award is named for Tommy Brennan. Who was the editor in chief of Fire Engineering magazine and a technical editor for 17 years. Tom had more the 35 years of fire service experience, including more than 20 years with the fire department of New York and five years as the chief of Waterbury, Connecticut. We lost Tom tragically to cancer in 2006, but his legacy lives on in this award. And in the pages of fire engineering. Today its my great honor and distinct pleasure to present along with Eileen Brennan, Tommy's daughter the FDIC 2013 Tom Brennan lifetime achievement award. This years especially significant here for us at FDIC and buyer engineering as the winner is one of our most treasured and dearest friends. He has been a mentor to all of us and a confident teacher and a role model to me personally. He defines the term gentlemen. He has a grace and an elegance that are uplifting and inspiring to all who meet him. The accolades of but a few of his friends will show you how great a contribution to our profession. Professor Glen Corbett has made, but first allow me to give you a brief overview of Glen's elastrious career. Professor Glen Corbett is an associate professor fire science at John Jay College. Glen has been a technical editor for fire engineering magazine for 20 years and wrote his first article on thermal radiation for the magazine in 1984. Glen has been a member of the fire engineering advisory board since 1990 and a member of the FDIC advisory council since 1997. Glen is the former assistant chief of the Warwick, New Jersey fire department, where he has proudly volunteered since 1986 and has served in virtually every rank. Glen testified before the 9/11 Commission, and most recently served in the Federal Advisory Committee for the national construction safety team. He pushed through congressional testimony for an investigation into 9/11, the WTC disaster, and the creation of the National Construction Safety Team Act. Glen is the chief technical advisor to the skyscraper safety campaign. Glen has also served as the president of the New Jersey society of fire fighter service instructors. He was the fire protection consultant for the Austin, Texas fire department and was the administrator of engineering services for the San Antonio, Texas fire department. Glenn currently sits on the New Jersey states fire code Council. Glenn is the co-author of the legendary Francis Branigan building instruction for the fire service fourth edition, an effort that he is passionately proud of. He is the editor of fire engineering's handbook, Firefighter one and two. And he is also an avid history and firefighting buff, offering the great Pattison fire of 1902, and co-authoring Historic Fires of New York City. Glen is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Texas, and currently sits on the board of two affiliated research centers. The academy for critical incident analysis and the Christian Rhinehart center for the emergency response studies. Glenn has a masters in engineering and fire protection engineering from Wauchester Polytechnic Institute, and is pursuing a PhD in public administration from Rutger's University. Whew. Most men would have to live 2 or 3 lives to do half of that. Dozens of fire service luminaries sent in words of praise and thoughts on Glen's many many accomplishments and contributions, and we could only list but a few. Retired FDNY deputy chief Vinny Dunn, remarked, Glenn Corbett is the spokesperson, for all the firefighters in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. An expert statesman, Glenn speaks out on behalf, of the tristate area fire departments even when chiefs cannot, or will not. He understand the complex fire protection issues of the day and translates them clearly for news reporters, television, radio, and the press. Glenn was the sole voice of the wounded families after the World Trade Center terrorist attacks. He guided friends and families of 9/11. Through a maze of media to get help for the cries and he made them heard. The 2000 lifetime achieve, the 2012 lifetime achievement award recipient Jack Murphy noted, Glenn Corbett is a walking fire service encyclopedia on many facets of the job. Whether it's about protection systems, codes, fire ground tactics, history of the fire service, he will provide you with an answer that is concise not only in subject matter but on its historical prospective. He is the fire service advocate when no one else is willing to speak up on the tough issues facing our job. Deputy Chief William Goldfetter commented, when I heard that Glenn was selected for the FDIC Lifetime Achievement Award, I thought to myself, duh! [LAUGH] Who better? Absolutely no one. To be clear, there is no aspect of the fire service that Glenn has not had a positive impact at, and few can claim that achievement. Of course Glen himself wouldn't claim that, as he is one of the most unassuming firefighters you have ever met. A firefighter's firefighter, a gentleman's gentleman. And I am one of many who are so incredibly fortunate to be friends with Glen. Captain Bill Guston says. Glen Corbett is a brilliant fire protection engineer who is responsible in large part for keeping fire engineering true to its name. As its technical editor, Glen keeps the word engineering in fire engineering. His extraordinary knowledge of codes, building construction and fire protection systems. Glen H [UNKNOWN] Sr, president of New Jersey State Firemen's Association, shared this. Glen is a bundle of knowledge who will stop what he is doing to assist anyone to try to solve their problems, anytime, day or night. Doctor Charles R. Jennings, director of the Christian Regenhard Center for Emergency Response Studies at John Jay College had this to add. Glenn Corbin is a selfless scholar and activist. His numerous ongoing contributions to the fundamental texts of our field. Improve firefighting practice, and keep firefighters safe. His advocacy for numerous causes, most notably to document and learn from 9/11 in New York, have made enduring contributions to the safety of firefighters and the public around the country. Lieutenant Mike Champo commented. Since our days together at Joh Jay College of Criminal Justice, working on the Firefighter One and Two textbook, Glenn has always amazed me with his knowledge and insight into the field of firefighting. Thanks for sharing your passion and knowledge with us and for making the fire service stronger through all of your works. Glen's good friend Frank Richie had this to say. Glen Corbett is a towering man but not just in stature. His body of work will serve as a lasting legacy for the ages. Glenn, you have been the man behind the curtain as one of Fire Engineering's technical editors. With the stroke of the pen, he has been responsible for improving and building on other people's work. And finally, from his dear friend Sally Rinehart. As chief technical advisor for the skyscraper safety campaign and the 9/11 parents, family and firefighters, Glen Corbet has been the guiding force behind the most authentic 9/11 family advocacy accomplishments in the past decade. His academic skill, research prowess, and personal dedication made an invaluable contribution to the NIST Federal investigation of the WTC collapse, the 9/11 Commission and the reform of the New York City Building Code and the successful release of the New York City 9/11 tapes and transmissions. By the New York State Court of Appeals. Friends, this lifetime achievement award is overdue. And at the same time, it's but a placeholder in the career of this fire service giant. Glenn has been a tireless warrior. And his passion doesn't end in today's controversies. He is the keeper of our traditions and our history. He is a world class instructor and a true friend. It is now my distinct pleasure and honor to ask the Professor to come out and receive this much deserved award. Ladies and gentlemen, the professor, the 2013 Tom Brennan Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Ladies and gentlemen, Professor Glenn Corbett. [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC] [SOUND] Thank you. Thanks so much. This is incredible. I'm surely humbled to be among all you today and to be associated with this. Incredible list of Fire Service legends who have previous, previously received this award. First I wanna thank my wife Sharon, and my mother Edna, who are here with me today. They've supported me 150% in my entire life and career, helping me every step of the way. I couldn't have done it without them. Their the best family members anyone could ever hope for., I want to thank Bobby, Dianne and Erica for engineering. They have been true friends for many many years. They are the individuals who keep the fire, fire in fire engineering burning brightly. Not only in training the fire service, but in fact leading the fire service. Thank you so much. To Eileen and the Brennan family, words cannot express my appreciation to you all. On behalf of everyone assembled here today, thanks for sharing Tom with us for so many years. His influence on the fire service... Will be felt for many, many years to come. Thank you Ilene. Thanks to the incredible editorial staff of fire engineering and FDIC of today and of yester, Mary, Jane, Rob, Ginger, Derek, Pete, Chris, Bill, and Jackie, you've all been so important to me. The FDIC, FDIC advisory board. Is an incredible semblance of fire service brain power, helping make the show premier standard by which all other fire conferences are measured [INAUDIBLE] Thanks to all of its members, Rick, Mike, Willy, Bill, Allen, Jacky, Skip and so many others on the, on the board. But those of us here that predate Facebook,. And perhaps and, of course, NFPA 1500 for that matter. We all are fortunate to collect many fire service friends over the years. To Larry, Charles, Jay, Janis, John, Raul, Mike, Paul, Andy, Ron, Andy, Tom, Frank, Joe, Nick, and so many others, thanks for your friendship. It's been said that knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens. I've been incredibly fortunate to have mentors who have inspired and guided me for so many years. To the late chief of department, Wayne Coulmer of Patterson, New Jersey, thanks for setting a high standard of education for me. And providing a taste or real hardcore urban firefighting experience. Some of you may remember him, he was the fire chief in the movie called "Lean On Me," where he went after his high school principal for locking the doors, that was him. To Frank, to the late Frank Brannigan thanks for being a sentinel of firefighter safety and allowing me to have a chance at the helm. Of your [UNKNOWN] building construction for the fire service. To Sally Reaganhart, thanks for being an unrelenting advocate for fire fighter safety, improving building construction in the wake of your loss of your son, Christian. On 9/11. To Tom, thanks for being a great friend and advisor. And, for giving a budding wad for an opportunity to write. For the top chronicle of fire series fire engineering. To all of you, your efforts will not be forgotten. While my career's been shaped by many friends and mentors, there's perhaps just one person who set me on this incredible path when inspiring words, and encouragement, and love: my late father, the Gordon, Gordon L. Corbett Jr.. Like so many of us here today, he was my, it was my father who shared his passion for firefighting. Subsequently leading to me making this my life's work. Even though he passed away over 30 years ago, a few days after becoming chief of the department, I know he's continued to guide me. Additionally his zeal for the fire service, history and tradition became mine as well. Thanks Dad. This really belongs to you. As an avid student of fire service history, I believe. Now, I know that we are at one of the most critical points in our nearly 300 years of existence. Sure there were many times over those years where our predecessors thought that the fire services changing so dramatically that their world was coming to an end as they knew it. Think about it: the introduction of steam fire engines and horses to pull-. The engines in the 1850s, the disbandment of the volunteer fire companies in our biggest cities of the 1860s and 70s, aerial apparatus in the 1880s, the platoon system in the 19 teens, the use of motorized apparatus in the 20s. SCBA in the 40's and the arrival of when EMS in the 60's and of course, NFP 1500 in the 80's. The bottom line was, we survived the changes and how did we do it? We stuck to our core principles of tradition, professionalism, dedication to service and pride. These allowed us to adapt and respond to these changes we were the better for it. Today we are faced with perhaps the most significant of confluence of deadly challenges in our history. Incredible reductions in company staffing. A much more hostile fire man and environment in general dealing with issues of terrorism. And then criminally inferior construction methods and materials have all conspired, to make this pier the most dangerous on our record, in my opinion. Looking to history, though, I believe it will be our great, it will be our great traditions and core principles that will get us through this era of great turmoil. To be sure, things will be different going forward. But we will adapt and will respond to the seemingly insurmountable problems. It will be all of you the true leaders of the fire service that keep the torch of tradition burning intensely that will steer us through these turbulent waters and allow us to emerge an even strong and more resilient fire service. Thank you all for your passion for the fire service and your passion for firefighting. Thank you. [MUSIC]

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