Corbett & Skyscraper Safety
is a fire captain in Waldwick, New Jersey, a professor of Fire Safety at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, a member of the New Jersey State Fire Code Council, and a technical editor of Fire Engineering Magazine, the nation’s 128-year-old fire service trade journal.
(Photo: Mike Berger)
He was on the committee advising the National Institute of Standards and Technology on its investigation of the WTC disaster, and came to a critical assessment overall, although he fully supports the hypothesis of collapse due to plane impacts and fires alone. Corbett testified several times to the House committee on science, about the state of the various WTC investigations by FEMA and NIST. Finally, Corbett is lead adviser to the Skyscraper Safety Campaign.
Corbett on NIST:
“Instead of a gumshoe inquiry that left no stone unturned, I believe the investigations were treated more like research projects in which they waited for information to flow to them… they were reluctant to use the subpoena power given to them…”
Corbett on the FEMA study:
“Handling the collapse study as an assessment has allowed valuable evidence – the steel building components – to be destroyed. The steel holds the primary key to understanding the chronology of events and causal factors resulting in the collapse.”
Mayor Bloomberg on the steel:
“If you want to take a look at the construction methods and the design, that’s in this day and age what computers do. Just looking at a piece of metal generally doesn’t tell you anything.”
Corbett on Mayor Bloomberg:
“He’s not an engineer!”
SSC was created by the Regenhard family in memory of Christian Michael Otto Regenhard, a 28-year-old probationary firefighter who remains missing at the WTC, along with his entire Engine Company 279. SSC nowadays includes the families of all firefighters, emergency workers, and civilian victims of 9/11. Having lobbied successfully to get an investigation of the collapses by NIST, the Campaign focuses now on encouraging better compliance with building and fire codes; educating “codes groups” to allow fire services to have more input into writing building codes; and ensuring that future WTC development by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey is characterized by quality, safety, security and compliance with New York City codes. The last is a central concern, as the Port Authority was never required to conform to New York building codes when first building the Twin Towers, and many people believe this may have been a factor in the later disaster.