For thousands of years fire has meant both death and life for humans, from uncontrollable forest fires to the flames that ignited the first steam engines of the industrial revolution. For Associate Professor and alumnus Glenn Corbett, former Chair of the Protection Management Department, who received the Tom Brennan Lifetime Achievement Award at the Fire Department Instructor’s Conference, his life’s passion and work have revolved around fire. The award is the industry’s highest honor and the Conference is the country’s largest gathering of fire service personnel.
Corbett’s extensive list of accolades and achievements include his position as former assistant chief of the Waldwick (N.J.) Fire Department, where he has volunteered since 1986.Corbett testified before the 9/11 Commission and recently served on the Federal Advisory Committee of the National Construction Safety Team that investigated the World Trade Center disaster and pushed for an investigation of the 9/11 WTC disaster and the creation of the National Construction Safety Team Act. He is the chief technical advisor to the Skyscraper Safety Campaign, and also served as the president of the New Jersey Society of Fire Service Instructors.
Corbett credits his father with stimulating his interest in firefighting and fire protection. “Although my father was professional news photographer by trade, he had a keen interest in firefighting. He became chief of our local volunteer fire department three days before he unexpectedly passed away. I also developed a passion for the fire protection field a result of his enthusiasm.”
As a John Jay student in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Professor Corbett notes he developed his skills in his fire science classes, establishing a solid educational foundation and preparing him well for his 31-year career in the fire profession. “John Jay College has played a central role in my career, both as a student as a faculty member. I am truly honored and humbled to receive this award, especially knowing how important John Jay has been for me.”
He has dedicated a large part of his career to code enforcement. He was a fire protection consultant for the Austin Fire Department and was the administrator of engineering services for the San Antonio Fire Department. He is a member of the New Jersey State Fire Code Council.
He is a co-author of Francis L. Brannigan’s Building Construction for the Fire Service, 4th Edition, and the editor of Fire Engineering’s Handbook for Firefighter I and II. His avid interest in the history of firefighting is manifest in his book The Great Paterson Fire of 1902 and co-author of Historic Fires of New York City.
Corbett has a master’s degree in Fire Protection Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and is pursuing a PhD in public administration from Rutgers University. Corbett has been a technical editor of Fire Engineering Magazine for 20 years.
The award is named in honor of Tom Brennan whose career spanned more than 35 years of fire service experience, 20 of which was spent in the Fire Department of New York. He was the editor of Fire Engineering Magazine for eight years.
Established in 1964, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York is an international leader in educating for justice. It offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit www.jjay.cuny.edu.
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Doreen Viñas-Pineda 212-237-8645