Why I Teach: John Norman

In this series, Fire Engineering Senior Editor Mary Jane Dittmar looks at the things that motivated and inspired instructors to present on their topics at FDIC International 2016. Segments will be posted on a regular basis up to and through the conference, April 18-23.

John Norman

Deputy Assistant Chief (Ret.)

Fire Department of New York

Building Construction for the Street-Smart Fire Officer

Tuesday, April 19, 1:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.


My main motivation for presenting this topic is to prevent further needless deaths and injuries on the fireground from causes that fire officers have a responsibility to know and should be able to prevent.

Hundreds of firefighters have died during my time in the fire service, and the building construction has contributed greatly to this tragic toll. A fire officer who understands the way a building is constructed should be able to predict what is likely to happen to that structure when it is on fire and take steps to prevent most of the deadly outcomes associated with that type of structure. By presenting this topic, I hope to enlighten all who attend so that they can avoid unnecessary death and injury.

Many of the topics I teach relate directly to preventing tragic outcomes, and numerous students have told me that something that they picked up in one of my classes has either saved their life or allowed them to save the life of another, often a fellow firefighter. That is a tremendous motivator!

Previous articleFDIC International 2016 Hangout, Day 1
Next articleQueens (NY) Fire Destroys Multiple Buildings

No posts to display