The Fire Engineering/FDIC International family is sad to report the passing of Fire Department of New York (FDNY) Assistant Chief Ronald R. Spadafora, a longtime Fire Engineering author and FDIC International instructor.
Spadafora was a 39-year veteran of the FDNY, where he was the chief of Fire Prevention. On 9/11, he responded to the World Trade Center (WTC) and supervised rescue and fire suppression efforts. He was named the WTC chief of safety for the entire recovery operation, which ended in late June 2002.
On August 14-15, 2003, he headed the Logistics Section for the FDNY during the New York City Blackout. In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in September 2005, he was designated deputy incident commander of the FDNY Incident Management Team and was sent to Louisiana to assist the New Orleans Fire Department. In October-November 2013, he coordinated logistics for the FDNY for Hurricane Sandy.
Above: Ron teaching at FDIC International.
He taught fire science at John Jay College (CUNY) for 25 years and emergency management at the Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) at the graduate and undergraduate levels. He was a visiting teacher and advisor on urban firefighting and incident management for the Working on Fire Program of South Africa. He had an M.P.S. degree in criminal justice from Long Island University (C.W. Post Center), a B.S. degree in fire science from John Jay College, and a B.A. degree in health education from Queens College (CUNY).
He wrote more than 70 firematic articles. His books include Firefighter Exams, 2nd Edition, (McGraw-Hill); Sustainable Green Design and Firefighting: A Fire Chief’s Perspective (Delmar-Cengage Learning); and Fire Protection Equipment and Systems (Pearson-Brady Fire Series).
Above, Ron (lower right center) with other FDIC International and staff members.
Bobby Halton, editor in chief of Fire Engineering and education director of FDIC International, said, “Ron was an authentic man. He lived a full and honorable life, and it was a pleasure and a privilege to know him. His wisdom and sincerity will be greatly missed.”
Glenn Corbett, associate professor at John Jay College/CUNY and technical editor of Fire Engineering, said: “Ron was dedicated to advancing the fire service. It wasn’t a just a job for him—he was an advocate for learning new things and applying them on the fireground and teaching them in the classroom. As chief of fire prevention, he pursued emerging hazards to the public and the fire service. Whether it was solar arrays on tenement rooftops or stationary batteries in high-rises, Ron was at the forefront of tackling the newest of fire protection problems. His legacy will be felt for a long time. For the newest members of the fire service, his career is one to emulate.”
Robert Burns, battalion chief (ret.) of the FDNY: “I met Ron when we were both firefighters putting our fires in the tenements of Brooklyn. He was a ‘can-do’ type of guy. He accepted every challenge and gave 100 percent to every job that he was called on to perform. I am proud and humbled to have called him my friend.”
John Salka, battalion chief (ret.) of the FDNY: “The news of Ron’s passing was sad to hear in many ways. But along with the grief and sadness I was happy to have been fortunate enough to have known Ronnie. He was truly a man of many talents. His contributions to the FDNY are many, and he was simply a nice guy. Farewell, Chief; it was a honor to know and work with you!”
RON IN FE