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World Trade Center steel mission to the Nation's Capital aborted. Organizer's cite Chief Dennis Rubin's schedule as a problem. Fire department says scheduling is only one of many issues.

A dispute has developed between the FDNY Fire Family Transport Foundation and the DC Fire & EMS Department over the Iron and Steel program’s efforts to bring pieces of the Twin Towers to the Nation’s Capital on August 28. The reporting above and below is by Delia Goncalves at 9NEWS NOW in Washington (my former employer). In addition DC Fire & EMS Department Chief Spokesperson Pete Piringer has provided a written response (at the bottom of report).

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“I know exactly where I was and what I was doing,” said Tomeka Barbour. Barbour, like many of us, will never forget. That’s why yet another memorial was offered to the people of DC: three pieces of steel from the Twin Towers. “Of course, we should do whatever it takes to make that happen,” Barbour exclaimed.

“I think it”s cool. It’s such an honor,” says another District resident.

It is an honor, or at least it was. The pieces of steel were set to be delivered in a huge ceremony on August 28 by the FDNY Fire Family Transport Foundation. But now, the DC Fire Department is off the list.

“It’s sad on so many levels,” said the Foundation’s President. Speaking to 9NEWS NOW reporter Delia Goncalves, Paddy Concannon says the deal has been in the works for a year. They’ve coordinated with state police departments for escorts along the route, and he says they confirmed with DC Fire and EMS back in April.

However, they say since DC Fire Chief Dennis Rubin will be out of town, the department backed out. “If one person can’t make it I don’t see why the entire run can’t go on,” says Concannon. “There really is something that is a missed opportunity by the Washington DC Fire Department.”

“I don’t believe we committed to that date,” counters DC Fire and EMS spokesman Pete Piringer. Piringer says the department considers the offer an honor and says the Chief would like to attend but will be at an International Fire Chief Conference in Chicago. They hope to reschedule in the fall. “We are disappointed too,” says Piringer. “Because we want to give it the proper place and honor it deserves.”

Unfortunately, it’s the foundation’s date or no date at all. The group’s president says because of this confusion he’d rather wait to work with a different administration.

They hope the Arlington County Fire Department will receive the gift August 28; however, to date, that department hasn’t heard anything about it.

Chief Dennis Rubin from

Response from DC Fire & EMS Department Chief Spokesperson Pete Piringer:

The men & women of the DC F&EMS were honored to be working with the FDNY-Fire Family Transport Foundation Iron and Steel project to bring a piece of the World Trade Center steel to the Nation’s Capital. The FDNY-Fire Family Transport Foundation Iron and Steel, a 501(c)(3) organization has been in negotiations for months in an effort to deliver pieces of Iron and Steel to the District of Columbia, which is no easy task in itself. Efforts have taken place and conversations have occurred, but no official request had been made from the DC F&EMS Department – which is the first requirement of the Foundation to move the steel beams. In the meantime, before the official request can be offered by DC, many logistical requirements such as where to hold the event, appropriate District of Columbia memorial sites (where to erect the large steel beams), and all the logistics that go along with an event fitting of a gift of this nature are being pursued. In addition we consider this to be an event suitable to include area fire service organizations and all of the fire chiefs from throughout the National Capital Region. The date selected by the Foundation not only corresponds with the first week of public school in DC, as well as some other major events and activities in the area that require our attention, it conflicts with many area Fire Chiefs’ attendance at an International Fire Chief’s Conference. At the same time, we must explore local funding sources to support all of non-funded logistical requirements of the FDNY-Fire Family Transport Foundation. The DC centric event will be measured by previous events at Fort Benning, GA; Camp Lejeune, NC and more recently Shanksville, PA that had drawn thousands of spectators and participants, including a motorcade of 1,000 bikers along the way. Although there is probably no better fire department in the Nation familiar with special event planning on a regular basis than DC F&EMS, we are quite aware of the planning, associated cost and other commitments necessary and are still developing the resources to best host and support this effort in a deserving fashion. We have welcomed the opportunity, but suffice to say the date imposed by the NY organizers is not feasible for DC F&EMS. It is unfortunate that organizers felt necessary to voice their frustrations in a negative manner by contacting various media outlets speaking in a disparaging way towards our Chief blaming him for the inability to meet organizers varied demands. In fact, conceptually, there is no one more supportive and committed to seeing the pieces of World Trade Center steel arrive in the Nation’s Capital. That being said we look forward to working with current or future organizers to someday bring the “Iron and Steel’ to DC and have it displayed in a place of honor and tribute in the Nation’s Capital.


Comments - Add Yours


    Wow….shocking news….Dennis Rubin will be out of town so he can be at a non required DC Fire&EMS event in Chicago….I think he’s going to Chicago to monitor his protege the Director of DCFEMS Community Affairs, Billy D. Hayes, who shockingly will be out of town at this event too speaking on Friday August 27, 2010. Billy will be Lecturing on the Building Blocks of Firefighter Safety – its as easy as your ABC’s says Billy…

    Dear FDNY Fire Family Transport,

    I’m sorry I can’t make it on the 28th because I’m suprisingly going to be out of town. If you can work this around my busy travel schedule which has me out of my office more than I’m in my office, please get with my people so we can work something out.



  • Ret. 3rd BFC

    “I’m the best,most learned (even if I look down on my people ’cause I’m superior,plus I look foward to my next job. No loyalty or devotion to the service,And never,ever look out for your people or be bothered by tradition!

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  • Anonymous

    Way to go chief, way to put yourself above one of the single most important events in US history. We would be honored as a city and dept to have this honor bestowed on us, and your public speaking engagemet has ruined it. You are a POS and another reason I hate working for you. FU

  • Anonymous

    Shows Rubin’s true nature once again. If his fugly face can’t be seen on a camera somewhere then he doesn’t want his department to have any part of it. What a disgrace. PLEASE GET RID OF THIS CHODE!!!

  • Fire 21

    OH! God no!! I’m not sure whether to wager here or pray that “Hookman” will NOT respond with more anti administration BS!!
    Shall we start a pool?

  • Anonymous

    I call BS!!!!!!

  • HoChiMan

    Maybe Rube is interviewing for yet another department in the snake-oil circuit Chiefs bonanza his career has been. I mean ya get all them Chiefs together in one place and things happen. Just speculating.

    HoChiMans Rules #1 Never think you’re more important than an honor bestowed upon the city you represent.

  • The Capt

    Really?? I am asamed to say he ole’ Rubes is from Hyattsville. fugggin’ loser.

  • oldhead

    Yet ANOTHER opportunity squandered by DCFD… Keep up the great work guys!


    Just when you thought it was safe to back in the water….. can this cat’s ego get any bigger ???


    @Fire need to wager on anything here boo..when 6 out of the 9 replies on here don’t favor your hero (excluding mine) there’s really no need to place any bets.
    Your better off saving your $$$ so you can register for the next lemons to lemonade speaking engagement, because wagering your $$ on me, could turn out to be very costly for you.

  • Anonymous

    Well……with the way the Mayor’s race is going (it doesn’t look good for the current Mayor) maybe he’s looking for his next job.


    Wait its now 8 of the 12 replies…..glad your not a betting man Fire 21…..I think the title Fire Chief Dennis Rubin is quite fitting for her, as in “FIRE” Chief Dennis Rubin….wait i forgot, she’s untouchable as long as Fenty’s in power or at least they think that.

  • dcfdslv

    To paraphrase a comment left on WUSA states that FDNY Fire Family Transport Foundation program’s efforts to bring pieces of the Twin Towers to Washington D.C… First this monument is being given to the city; I agree with the writer that the mayor should be the one to accept this gift. While statements seem to indicate that he is the only person capable of running the Washington DC fire department during an event, history has shown that the city can and does run without Chief Rubin. I believe it is sheer arrogance by Chief Rubin to prevent this ceremony on the fact that he wants to attend an optional International Fire Chief Conference in Chicago. If he feels that he cannot trust the AFC’s that he appointed to run the city while he is away at this conference, or feels that he can dictate to Mayor Fenty city policy to accept or reject a city donation.
    Maybe it’s time for Mayor Fenty to find his replacement before more damage it done to his reelection campaign by someone who feels he can state city policy for him.

  • dale

    Has it escaped notice that the event in Chicago is the annual meeting of the International Association of Fire Chiefs where a significant number of “chiefs” (both career and volunteer)meet to review information and discuss events impacting their departments (like how to reduce the likelihood of staff cutbacks, layoffs, station closings, etc.) Stuff like that affects the entire department. And since it is their professional association, I doubt that many other chief officers in the metro area will be available, either, since one must presume they will also be attending (budget and time permitting.)

    As for accepting the steel, it does appear that it could turn into a significant event that would require advance planning. ne must presume that FD Officials could plan for this event without the direct input of the Chief- don’t they have a protocol already in place for planning for special events?

    And yes, the mayor does seem to be the appropriate city official to “accept” this donation on behalf of the city.

  • Flash

    Dale, Thanks you saved me the trouble of putting the meeting on here. Some people do not look ahead.

  • HoChiMan

    Oh you guys are so darn clever, you’re right the Chiefs never ever get to see each other, and don’t have phones and oh golly, they’ll never see each other again.

    Look seriously though you are right that event is fairly important. But when triaged against this gratis once in a lifetime event. I think Denny should reconsider and make this happen.


    Dale and Flash or Flash and Dale…its a conference just like any other conference, whether you want to call it an Expo, Exposition, Symposium or whatever the heck you want to, its no different than any other monthly Fire conference Hooha. So save your we Chiefs have to get together to save the Fire Service BS for someone that gives a flying %@#!…..Its the same people speaking….the same people lecturing and more than likely the same topics that were talked about 8 years ago, but presented in a different forum. The only attachment the IAFC has to this, is that their sponsoring it. I dont see anywhere in the layout of this event, that its strictly a conference for Fire Chiefs to meet and greet.

    Next time do you homework before you make ridiculous statements to justify your hero, I mean zero, Denise Rubin being out of town. If she spent the majority of her time at work like she’s paid to do and not travel around the freaken country using her title for private gain, yeah, this would be a non issue.

  • Flash

    Hookman, Somewhere I have missed something since I do not work in D.C. When you refer to SHE while talking about Rubin do you mean him? Don’t think I have heard that before.

  • Ret. 3rd BFC

    a conference is a conference et.,etc.Been to enough of ‘em.But when our a “travelin salvation show’ chief (hire me ! I’ll save you !) They are networking and ego builders !.With this guy nothing is more important.Hey Great Chief,do your people get help when they really need it?? HELL NO !

  • Anonymous

    Don’t worry, Rubin will be gone by the end of the year… King Fenty is on his way out and Rubin is gone too. A close friend told me that Rubin is still trying to get a federal job but the Obama Adminastration has distance itself from the city months ago.

  • dilligaf

    don’t worry Flash, hookman doesn’t work in DC either…


    Don’t worry dilligaf, I’ll be back sooner than you think….

  • Anonymous

    No disrespect whatsoever to the victims and families of the 911 attacks, but Chief Rubin can’t be expected to drop everything he has on his plate because a group wants to come and make a presentation. It’s a conflict in scheduling,,,,pure and simple. People like Hookman are making this into something it is not. Sorry Hookman, no story here, run along now and go pick up the classifieds, I hear the dollar store in chucktown is hiring.

  • Flash

    Hookman you must be awfully mad about something. I am a high ranking officer in a nearby area and we have a full time shrink. I will gladly have you meet him so you can get this out of your system. He will treat you with respect until we can unmask this monster from within you and detroy it by any means. I will have a medic unit standing by if needed. We WIL Destroy the thing in you taht has your life at a standstill. If only I could help you. You poor thing!! We will be thinking of you and the beast within. Oh by the way where do you work so I can set it up????


    WOW FLASH…your not just an everyday run of the mill officer in a nearby area, your a high ranking officer in a nearby area. Man you must have studied the books real hard to be a high ranking officer.
    Were you also the high scorer on your last exam, and if so, did you get one of those neat little mini Fire Suppression what to do pads, so when a closets on fire you can guides the mens through it all step by step.

    I bet you even have a neat safety vest with the words, “I’m a high ranking officer on the back”. I bet someone like yourself who says their a high ranking officer has a motto of, “Respect the Badge, not the man”.

    I would take you up on the shrink idea, because I seem to be pulling my approach shots to the green and I can’t seem to figure out what the heck it is. Seeing that my handicap keeps going down, I don’t want this part of my golf game getting in my head, to the point I’m scoring higher, which ultimately will lead to my handicap rising.

    Anyways since you seem to like me so much, that you would offer a shrink to me free of charge, it sure would be an honor to meet you. Then I could hear all about your acts of selfishness and bravery, which lead up to you becoming a “High Ranking Officer in a nearby area.

    If your free tomorrow, I have to go down to 333 Constitution Ave NW and file some paperwork, maybe we can meet there. However, my time is very very precious to me, as I try not to miss a day playing golf. So I was thinking I could allot 2 minutes of my time to you. My attention span for people like you is around 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, so I figure I’ll probably get bored of hearing you talk after 30 seconds, so that will leave me extra time to walk up the steps and go about my bizness. Nite Nite Flash…ooops I mean “HIGH RANKING OFFICER”.

  • JLB

    It’s completely appropriate that the Arlington County Fire Department take possession of this piece of history, considering ACFD was FIRST IN to the attack on the Pentagon, NOT DCFD. I respect the organizers’ efforts to include the FD of our Nation’s capitol in this event, and it’s a shame that Chief Rubin’s schedule had to trump such an honored event, but if ACFD is to be the “back up plan,” it’s more than appropriate, considering ACFD ran the Pentagon attack response for 2 weeks since (surprise!) the Pentagon is in ARLINGTON, NOT the District. Good on ACFD for taking up the cause.

  • Dude

    Should have gone to Arlington first anyway. Chief Schwartz of Arlington ran the Pentagon response, not DC.