New York, NY, September 4, 2008 – John Jay College of Criminal Justice today announced the opening of its Christian Regenhard Center for Emergency Response Studies. Named for probationary firefighter Christian Regenhard, who was killed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, the Center will serve as a research repository and information clearinghouse for the study of emergency responses to disasters such as the attacks on the World Trade Center and Hurricane Katrina as well as future threats such as a major earthquake on the West Coast.
“The Center will undertake important research for developing integrated, comprehensive approaches to the study emergency responses to large-scale disasters,” said Jeremy Travis, President of John Jay College. “We are especially appreciative of the support from Senators Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer as well as Representative Jerrold Nadler and other members of the New York Congressional Delegation who have supported the creation of the Center.”
"For the Regenhard family, this Center will carry on Christian's legacy,” said Sally Regenhard, Christian Regenhard’s mother. “In addition to being a Firefighter and a former U.S. Marine, he was an artist and a writer with intellectual interests. I wanted something in the academic realm that would have relevance to helping save first responders and members of the public. Through the work of its dedicated faculty, this Center will honor all first responders who lost their lives as a result of 9/11 and can help to ensure the safety of all responders in the future."
“For a very long time, there has been a desperate need for an academic center that collects and analyzes the oral histories of emergency workers who respond to large scale disasters,” said Glenn Corbett, Chair of the Department of Protection Management and Chair of the Center’s Advisory Board. “In my role as technical editor of Fire Engineering magazine and as a technical advisor to the Skyscraper Safety Campaign (a 9/11 safety advocacy organization founded by Sally Regenhard, Christian’s mother), I could see time and again how critical observations made by emergency responders should have been used to change response protocols. In the past, these unique experiences of firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical technicians were lost because there was no entity to gather this essential information. Now, the Christian Regenhard Center for Emergency Response Studies will be in the position to not only collect this information, but also be able to recommend improvements for future large-scale responses.”
Charles Jennings, former Deputy Commissioner of Public Safety for the City of White Plains and Professor of Protection Management at John Jay, was named the Center’s Director. “I am excited to assume leadership of such an important Center. We look forward to working with researchers and building ties to the national first responder community. This Center will fill an important gap in developing actionable guidance for emergency responders based on “bottom-up” analysis of major incidents across the U.S. On October 1-3, we will cosponsor a symposium on data structures for incident-related archives. This will help determine the structure of the Center’s repository of incident-specific information including reports, photographs and first responder narratives.”
About John Jay College of Criminal Justice: An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 14,000 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 http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/.