NEW YORK, New York (WABC) -- Being knowledgeable about fire safety and emergency preparedness can truly be a matter of life and death. Eyewitness News has brought our viewers "Operation 7: Save a Life" since 1999. Experts on fire safety and burn injuries answer your questions during this hour-long chat.
Web chat participants:
Bill Ritter started at Eyewitness News in June, 1998, anchoring weekends while working full time Monday through Friday for ABC News and 20/20 as a correspondent.
He started anchoring the 11 p.m. newscast on Eyewitness News in October, 1999, succeeding the great Bill Beutel, and then added the 6 p.m. newscast in February, 2001.
He has covered, for Eyewitness News and ABC News, the big and important events since 1992 when he joined ABC as founding co-host of "Good Morning America/Sunday."
Earlier in his career Bill, a native of Los Angeles native, reported on the Rodney King trial and the subsequent Los Angeles riots for the Fox Television Network. From August 1991 through February 1992 Ritter also served as a reporter for the Fox Network's nationally syndicated show Entertainment Daily Journal (E.D.J.); and from February 1990 to August 1991 was an investigative reporter for KTTV-TV (Fox Television) in Los Angeles. He also was an anchor for the station's Gulf War coverage.
He began his television career as a business and then investigative reporter for KNSD-TV (NBC affiliate) in San Diego from February 1987 to January 1990.
Bill began his career in print journalism in 1972. He served as a reporter and then business editor of the San Diego County edition of The Los Angeles Times from February 1984 to January 1987. He also worked as a reporter and editor for the San Diego Business Journal from June 1980 to January 1984.
Additionally, Ritter served as a board member and then chairman of Crash, Inc., a non-profit drug education and prevention organization in San Diego, from 1980 to 1990. He also was on the San Diego State University Business School advisory board in 1984 and 1985.
Ritter attended San Diego State University from 1968-1972. He was kicked out of school for demonstrating against the Vietnam War. Forty years later he went back to college, graduating from The New School in May, 2016.
Suzanne Turner is the Director of Marketing and Communications for Kidde, one of the largest manufacturers of fire safety products in the world. She is responsible for developing the marketing and communications strategy to support Kidde's growth roadmap, building brand awareness for the company and help it achieve its mission of saving lives from fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.
In addition to her extensive experience in marketing and communications, since joining UTC in 2003 she has contributed to the company's growth by working in high-level sales, platform integration, and customer service leadership roles.
Suzanne joined UTC from Lowe's Companies, Inc., where her career launched as a Public Relations Specialist and she later served as a Company Spokesperson.
Suzanne holds a degree in Marketing and Mass Communications.
Lt. Anthony Mancuso, Director of Fire Safety Education for the FDNY: Lt. Anthony Mancuso has been the Director of Fire Safety Education for the FDNY since 2005. He has been with the FDNY for 30 years and was first assigned to Engine 26 and Ladder 3 in Manhattan for thirteen years and promoted to Lieutenant in 1996 and assigned to Engine 239 in Brooklyn.
As the director and fire safety educator, he teaches adults, seniors and children how to be fire safe by knowing how to escape from a fire. He also educates the public about smoke alarms and CO detectors, and where they should be placed in their home or apartment.
Dr. Palmer Q. Bessey, Aronson Family Foundation Professor of Burn Surgery and Associate Director of the William Randolph Hearst Burn Center at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center: He was born in a New Jersey suburb within view of New York City. He is a graduate of Williams College in Northwestern Massachusetts, where he majored in chemistry but spent most of his time in the theatre, and the University of Vermont, College of Medicine in Burlington.
Other educational forays included Masters study in Physical Chemistry at the University of Oregon and later Epidemiology at Columbia University. He completed surgical residency and a special fellowship in surgical critical care at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) as well as a research fellowship in surgical metabolism at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
He began his academic career at UAB. He has also held faculty positions at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Rochester. Although his focus initially was on Trauma and Critical Care, he always participated in the care of burn patients.
He considers himself fortunate to have worked with Alan Dimick and William Monafo, both pioneers in contemporary burn care and early Presidents of the ABA. Dr. Bessey moved to New York and his current position in 2000. He was part of the team at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell that helped care for the major burn survivors of the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001.
He has dedicated his career to improving the care of people with serious injuries from trauma and burns, striving for both survival and quality of life. He has served as a State Chair and Region Chief on the Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons, as a Director of the American Board of Surgery, and most recently, as President of the American Burn Association.
And there's more for us to share, so don't miss our special half-hour show "Operation 7: Save a Life," coming up on January 26th at 7 p.m., only on ABC7.