Bethany College to Host September 11 Survivor Jay Jonas
BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College Student Activities Council will host New York City Fire Department Deputy Chief Jay Jonas on September 8 at 8 p.m. in the Renner Art Gallery. Jonas was one of only 20 people still inside the Twin Towers who survived when they collapsed on September 11, 2001.
Jonas, then the Captain of Ladder Co. 6, was one of the first responding units to the World Trade Center that day. He and his unit were completing a rescue inside the north tower when it fell.
Jonas served as the official representative from the New York City Fire Department for President George W. Bush’s subsequent address to the nation at the U.S. Capitol Building.
A published author, Jonas has worked with the South Bronx, Harlem, the Lower East Side of Manhattan and Chinatown. Following his September 11 experience, he wrote procedure for the New York City Fire Department designed to rescue trapped firefighters. He appeared on NBC Dateline and The Miracle of Ladder Co. 6 and has been featured in a variety of documentaries and shows, including one presented on the History Channel.
The Bishop of the New York Diocese of the Episcopal Church presented Jonas with the Bishop’s Cross. He was also given a “Men of the Year Award” from The Men’s World Day Organization in Vienna, Austria, by Mikhail Gorbachev and Paul McCartney.
Jonas earned his A.A.S. in fire protection technology from Orange County Community College (SUNY) and a B.S. in fire administration from Empire State College (SUNY). He and his wife live in Goshen, N.Y., and have three children.
Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.