THE BRONX - Former firefighter Joe DiBernardo took the stand Monday in the eleventh day of the ?Black Sunday? trial, as the defense continued to argue that the lack of safety equipment contributed to the deaths of two firefighters four years ago.
DiBernardo was one of the firefighters on the scene at an East 178th Street building that had become engulfed in flames Jan. 23, 2005. He, along with four other firefighters, used safety ropes that had been deemed illegal to escape the building. DiBernardo used firefighter Jeffrey Cool?s rope to not only help Cool escape the building, but to lower himself.
Firefighters Curtis Meyran and John Bellew were forced to jump more than 40 feet to the ground after allegedly pleading for rope using their radios. The fall killed both firefighters.
DiBernardo says he suffered such extensive injuries, he was forced to retire from the fire department. During the cross-examination, DiBernardo revealed that he currently uses prescription medication as a result of his injuries. When asked if his medication may affect the accuracy of his testimony, DiBernardo said, ? I wouldn?t know.?
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