NFPA Journal - May/June 2012 - (Page 22)

>> PersPectives VIEWPOINTS ON FIRE + LIFE SAFETY Hell and Back Jay Jonas of the New York City Fire Department returns to the World Trade Center site to talk about his remarkable escape on 9/11, and how that day forever altered the fire service and built environment It Is a sunny afternoon in March in Lower Manhattan, and Jay Jonas is at the 9/11 Memorial, greeting memorial officials with a large smile, a firm handshake, and a gentle “hello.” Jonas, 54, a deputy chief with the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), is dressed in his dark FDNY uniform; the day is warm, and he pauses occasionally to wipe the sweat from his brow. He holds the hand of his wife, Judy, and looks out over one of the memorial’s large reflecting pools, the one now located in the space once occupied by the North Tower of the World Trade Center (WTC). On 9/11, Jonas, who was then a captain with Ladder 6 in Chinatown, and five other firefighters ascended stairway B of the North Tower on a search-and-rescue operation as both WTC towers burned. When the South Tower collapsed, their orders immediately changed: get out as fast as you can. Heading back down the stairs, they stopped to assist a woman on the 20th floor who was having trouble walking. Slowly, they helped her negotiate the stairs, floor by laborious floor. What they feared ultimately occurred only four floors from the exit—the building began to collapse above them, then around them, and there was nothing they could do. Jonas and his team, along with the woman they were helping, survived the collapse of the towers, but 343 of his FDNY comrades did not, and were part of the nearly 3,000 people who died in the 9/11 attacks. Now the site, once the scene of unimaginable destruction, is devoted to remembrance and contemplation. Large reflecting pools, their floors 30 feet (9 meters) below the plaza, are set inside the footprints of the WTC towers. Jonas, like many visitors, gazes reflectively at the water as it cascades down the 22 NFPA JOURNAL MAY/JUNE 2012 Photograph: David Lubarsky

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NFPA Journal - May/June 2012

Nfpa Journal - May/june 2012
First Word
In a Flash
Heads Up
Structural Ops
In Compliance
Buzz Words
Electrical Safety
Wildfire Watch
Treasurer's Report
Signal Concern
Giant Steps
Sprinklered Menagerie?
Free Samples
Eye on Health Care
Membership: The Sections
Expo Preview: Exhibitors' Showcase
Looking Back

NFPA Journal - May/June 2012