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The Firefighter: Lt. Dennis Gordon + Jeremy Safran


Wednesday, January 22, 2014
7:00 PM–8:30 PM

Dennis Gordon has served as a firefighter for 36 years and has the distinction of having been decorated ten times for his service to the city, including the Hugh Bonner Medal which is one of the department’s highest awards. He was appointed to the FDNY in 1978 and was first assigned to Engine 45 in the South Bronx at a time when there were multiple fires a day. Because fires were so frequent Gordon could learn the art of firefighting in a relatively short time. In 1987 he was promoted to Lieutenant and was assigned to the 1st Division (below 14th Street in Manhattan). Due to his considerable experience he was called upon to serve Ladder 120 in the demanding area of Brownsville, Brooklyn. Transferred to the Special Operations Command in 2005, Gordon spent the first two years in Squad 18 in lower Manhattan before being relocated to his current assignment in Rescue 4 in Queens. (There are only 5 Rescue Companies, one per borough.) With his son, whom he raised singlehanded, now in college, Gordon is able to pursue other interests. This includes traveling throughout the country photographing abandoned industries and vacant inner city structures such as the ones that New York City once teemed with. His passion for architecture from the industrial revolution fuels his 1/87th scale model reconstruction of New York City from the time of his first two decades in firefighting service.
Dr. Jeremy D. Safran is Chair & Professor of the Psychology Department at the New School for Social Research and Senior Research Scientist in Psychiatry at Beth Israel Medical Center. He is Co-Founder & Co-Chair of the New School Ferenczi Center (along with Lewis Aron & Adrienne Harris). Dr. Safran has published several books, including: Emotion in Psychotherapy; Negotiating the Therapeutic Alliance; Psychoanalysis and Buddhism: An Unfolding Dialogue, and Psychoanalysis & Psychoanalytic Therapies (which won the 2013 Gradiva Award).