Deputy Assistant Chief (Ret.) John Norman is a veteran of over 50 years in the fire service, including over 27 years with the FDNY, the majority of that time in Special Operations units. Chief Norman served as a firefighter with Engine Company 290, and Ladder Company 103 in Brooklyn, Rescue Company 3 which covered the Bronx and Harlem, and helped organize Hazardous Materials Company 1 at its inception in 1984. As a Lieutenant, he served with Rescue Company 2, which covered all of Brooklyn, and as a Captain, he was the Company Commander of Rescue Company 1 which is located in Manhattan's high rise district, just off Times Square. While still assigned to Rescue Company 1, John worked with the Safety Command and the Fire Commissioner's High Rise Fire Safety Task Force, investigating and then developing high-rise fire safety legislation in the wake of the fatal Vandalia Avenue and Macauley Culkin fires, which killed three firefighters and six civilians. Promotion to Battalion Chief in 1999 brought assignment to Battalion 10 and the Y2K Preparation Task Force before assignment to Battalion 16. In the days after September 11th, 2001, and the collapse of the Twin Towers, John was designated as the Search and Rescue Manager for the World Trade Center site. He operated in that position for two months before assuming the job of Chief of Special Operations on a full-time basis. He was subsequently promoted to Deputy Chief in June of 2003, remaining in Special Operations. In August 2004, Chief Norman was promoted to Deputy Assistant Chief, and once again designated as Chief of Special Operations as well as a Citywide Tour Commander.




Chief Norman attended Oklahoma State University, majoring in Fire Protection Technology. After college he worked as a Fire Protection Engineer for a major N.Y.C. fire protection contractor, designing sprinkler, standpipe, and other fire protection systems for many buildings in the Metro New York area, including such famous addresses as 666 Fifth Avenue, and portions of the ill-fated World Trade Center. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Fire Service Administration from Empire State College of the State University of New York. He attended the first FDNY/USMA West Point Combating Terrorism Leadership Program in 2003, and is a graduate of the FDNY/Columbia University Fire Officers Management Institute. He has testified as an expert witness concerning fire operations in both State and Federal court cases. He served as a consultant to the City of Chicago in the wake of the tragic Cook County Office Building fire, which resulted in major operational changes for the Chicago Fire Department.

Chief Norman has been an adjunct instructor at the Fire Academy on Randall's Island, teaching in the Chief Officers Development Course, the Confined Space Rescue, Building Collapse Rescue, and the Foam Coordinator's/Flammable Liquid Training courses. A Task Force Leader with the New York City Urban Search and Rescue Task Force, John has taught in the Rescue Specialist Training Course given by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to the nation's 28 U.S.A.R. teams. He has been decorated for valor nine times. He is also the author of the best selling Fire Officer's Handbook of Tactics and its accompanying study guide, and is the author of a chapter on Pre-Incident Planning in the 20th Edition of the Handbook of Fire Protection, published by the NFPA in 2007. He has written extensively for such fire service magazines as WNYF, Fire Engineering, and Firehouse, and served on validation committees for the International Fire Service Training Association dealing with the following training manuals; Ventilation, Fire Service Rescue, Building Construction Related to the Fire Service, and Terrorism. He lectures nationally on a wide variety of fire and rescue topics.