New Research Center Named After Sally Regenhard’s Son, Firefighter Christian Regenhard

Congratulations to the Regenhard family. - Jon

New Research Center Is Named for 9/11 Firefighter

Source: cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com

By Sewell Chan
September 4, 2008, 5:04 pm

John Jay College of Criminal Justice on Thursday announced the opening of the Christian Regenhard Center for Emergency Response Studies. The center is named for a 28-year-old probationary firefighter who died on 9/11. Mr. Regenhard, the son of a retired police detective and a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, went to college in San Francisco for a year before enlisting in the Marines and, eventually, joining the Fire Department. He was assigned to Ladder Company 131 in Red Hook, Brooklyn. His mother, Sally, has become a well-known advocate for improved emergency communications and construction codes.

The center, which was created with federal financing, will serve as a research institution and information clearinghouse for the study of emergency responses to disasters like 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, as well as future threats like a major earthquake on the West Coast.

Charles Jennings, former deputy commissioner of public safety for the city of White Plains and now a professor of protection management at John Jay, was named the center’s director.

NY center opens in 9/11 firefighter's name

Source: newsday.com

September 4, 2008

NEW YORK - A center that studies emergency responses to disasters like the Sept. 11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina has opened at a Manhattan college.

The Christian Regenhard Center for Emergency Response Studies is named after a 28-year-old firefighter killed at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

His mother, Sally Regenhard, has lobbied for safer high-rise towers after the trade center's collapse.

"For the Regenhard family, this center will carry on Christian's legacy," she said Thursday in a statement.

The research center received over $150,000 in federal funding and will have a three-person staff. It is part of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

"In addition to being a firefighter and a former U.S. Marine, he was an artist and a writer with intellectual interests," Regenhard's mother said. "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," she said.

John Jay to open emergency response research center

Source: newsday.com

BY MICHAEL FRAZIER | michael.frazier@newsday.com
September 3, 2008

The small "research center" will have a very big mission.

It will study emergency responses to catastrophic disasters such as the 2001 terror attacks. The center takes on the immense challenge with a three-person staff, and it will be operated out of the office of its director, Charles Jennings.

The Christian Regenhard Center for Emergency Response Studies officially launches 11:30 a.m. tomorrow at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. It is named for a 28-year-old probationary firefighter who perished in the attacks.

"We recognize a need for a research agenda relative to first responders, trying to document from the ground level up, lessons that we've learned, and to develop information that would be of use to first responders in dealing with large-scale events," said Jennings, professor at the school's Department of Protection Management.

The research for the center, which opens a week before the seventh anniversary of the attacks, is funded by a more than a $169,000 grant from the Justice Department. Supporters are hopeful the center can be expanded in the future once more funding is secured.

"For the Regenhard family, this center will carry on Christian's legacy," said his mother, Sally Regenhard, founder and chairwoman of the Skyscraper Safety Campaign, a citizen's group that advocates construction reform and has pressured Congress to investigate the fall of the WTC towers. "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."

Regenhard, Jennings and Glenn Corbett, the school's department chairman for the protection management department, will speak at the launch on the Manhattan school's campus.

Studies at the center will not only dissect large-scale responses to past disasters, but also research any possible future threats, such as a major earthquake on the West Coast.

Officials said a digital database of the findings will be created. That information will be used to make public policy recommendations, develop training methods and educational programs.

"Critical observations made by emergency responders can be used to change response protocols," said Corbett, chairman of the center's advisory board.

Jennings acknowledged the challenges the startup faces. He said he'll develop relationships with researchers in related fields across the country to help with the fact gathering.

Plans for the center began to materialize shortly after 9/11, when Corbett and Jennings met Regenhard. All of them supported a federal probe into the World Trade Center disaster.

Regenhard, who doesn't have a defined role, said she will do all she can to make sure the center is successful.

"I wanted something in the academic realm that would have relevance to helping save first responders and members of the public," she said.