The FDNY "Wall of Heroes" - honors those who died in the line of duty (L.O.D.D.)
It has now been over 7 years since that miserable winter blizzard and infamous Bronx "Black Sunday" fire where, because illegally installed partitions blocked ALL the available fire escapes Joey DiBernardo Jr. and 5 other brother FDNY firefighters were forced to "bail-out" and jump from the top floors of a 5-story burning building to the frozen concrete below.
Sadly, this last November 22, 2011, at 40 years young, Joey DiBernardo unexpectedly died. As courageous as a firefighter who Joey was, he tragically succumbed to his injuries and the related health complications sustained many years ago while fighting the "Black Sunday" fire.
When the news broke of Joey's death speculations of suicide began to spread, yet were all soon proven to be incorrect, false and/or unfounded. Joey's death wasn't a suicide. As a matter of fact joy and a real sense of purpose were returning into Joey's life. He had his education and future planned. He loved his family, his friends, his brother and sister firefighters and the fire departments he served. He completely enjoyed being an Uncle and Godfather to his young niece Gabriella. And besides, anyone who knew Joey knows this... that he would never, ever leave any of his loved ones behind, including his dog "Rescue".
The official cause of death ruled by the coroner was as an accidental overdose of painkillers and anti-depressants.
Retired FDNY Deputy Chief Joseph DiBernardo said this of his son...
"The reason he was on medications was pain. The pain was caused by Black Sunday. If there was no Black Sunday, my son would be here today." Joe Sr. is on a mission to honorably close the final chapter of the Black Sunday story for his son. "All those heroes on that wall. Joey belongs there. And he won't rest in peace until his name is there. And neither will I."
HONOR our BROTHER
*** Please do the right thing and include Lt. Joseph DiBernardo on the "Wall of Heroes" ***
Joey is a true FDNY "Hero" and deserves L.O.D.D. recognition
RFB - Remember Fallen Brothers
New York City Mayor Bloomberg
New York City Fire Commissioner Cassano
The FDNY "Wall of Heroes" - is located at FDNY Fire Head Quarters and honors those who died in the line of duty. ( L.O.D.D. )
Please include FDNY Lt. Joey DiBernardo Jr. on FDNY's "Wall of Heroes"
Last November 22, 2011, at 40 years young Joey DiBernardo Jr. died suddenly and unexpectedly. The official cause of death was ruled accidental overdose of painkillers and anti-depressants.
MAYDAY – MAYDAY – MAYDAY (Every firefighter’s worst nightmare)
During a severe winter blizzard in January 2005, Joey DiBernardo Jr. was one of six FDNY firefighters who were trapped and overwhelmed by what was later described as a "freight train” of fire. Being faced with the reality of burning to death by fire, and with no way out except the windows, they made the unthinkable choice and “bailed out”. All six FDNY firefighters jumped from the upper floors and landed on the back alley frozen concrete sidewalks.
*** One of the "Black Sunday" survivors, Retired FDNY Firefighter Jeff Cool from Rescue 3 gives full credit to Joey DiBernardo Jr. for saving his life that day. ***
In the seconds before the bail out, DiBernardo insisted that his friend and fellow firefighter Cool, the father of two young sons, escape before him--because he was married and had children.
*** Joey put Jeff Cool’s life before his own. This was the selfless act of a REAL-LIFE HERO and exemplifies the meaning of "BROTHERHOOD" ***
"Joey was the guy you wanted with you at the window that day" ~ Jeff Cool
From a 4th floor window ledge with a raging fire engulfing in on them, DiBernardo held Cool's personal safety rope allowing Cool to make it down several feet further before the rope gave way sending Cool to the concrete below. DiBernardo then tried to use the rope to lower himself from the window. Being able to lower himself just a few feet, the rope - once again - gave way.
Neither firefighter was ever able to return to duty. The life-altering injuries suffered on “Black Sunday” required both Joseph DeBernardo Jr. and Jeff Cool to medically retire on permanent disability from the FDNY.
Two of the firefighters, Curtis Meyran and John Bellew were killed instantly. As a result both were rightfully honored, recognized and placed on the FDNY "Wall of Heroes". The four others, the “survivors”, all suffered horrific injuries. All required many months of intensive rehabilitation.
*** Some Fires Never Go Out ***
It has now been over seven years since the infamous "Black Sunday" fires. The day when two FDNY firefighters were killed in a Bronx alarm--and another firefighter died later that same morning in Brooklyn.
If there was no Black Sunday, FDNY Lt. Joseph DiBernardo Jr. would be here today.
The incredible trauma inflicted on Joey, injuries he suffered on the "Black Sunday" fire in January 2005 dramatically changed his health... affecting his entire life.
Because of the "Black Sunday" fire Joey DiBernardo Jr. suffered major internal injuries and broke nearly every bone below his waist, - including completely smashing both feet. He was in a coma for more than two weeks at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He even received his "last rites" ... twice. In the spring of 2005 Joey was finally discharged with life-altering injuries and required lengthy and extensive rehabilitation and continued medical treatment.
"Black Sunday" was a never-ending daily battle for the remaining 6+ years of Joey’s disabled life. Joey was inflicted with constant chronic pain and suffered understandable periods of depression. Then ironically, just when Joey D.'s life seemed to be headed in the right direction and mostly back on track, the long term affects of "Black Sunday" sneaked in quietly, and without warning killed him.
Lt. Joseph DiBernardo Jr. leaves behind his parents, Retired FDNY Deputy Chief, Commander 6th Division, South Bronx/Harlem Joseph DiBernardo Sr., his mom Barbara, his sister, Carolyn, her husband Gino, his Goddaughter / niece Gabriella, his best friend and beloved dog "Rescue", his fire brothers and sisters, friends, relatives and thousands of other people across the nation and around the world who know Joey was a class act, a person to trust, look-up to and admire, an industry expert and above all... A TRUE AMERICAN FDNY HERO!
**** FDNY Lt. Joseph DiBernardo Jr. RIGHTFULLY DESERVES FDNY "HERO" STATUS and L.O.D.D. recognition ****
*** Please do the right thing. Include FDNY Lt. Joseph DiBernardo Jr. on the FDNY "Wall of Heroes". ***
Doing this will officially honor the name, memory and legacy, recognize the caliber of human being, firefighter and pay respect to the ultimate sacrifice of a true American and FDNY hero.
We the international group of people signed below are ALL on a mission, along with Retired FDNY Deputy Chief, Commander 6th Division, South Bronx/Harlem Joseph DiBernardo, Sr.
We intend to see this incredibly ugly last chapter of the “Black Sunday” fire close honorably for FDNY Hero "Joey D.", and for the family Joey deeply loved, but tragically had to leave behind.
RFB - "Remember Fallen Brothers"