Revisiting a Historic Human Performance Episode of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire


The original broadcast date for this episode was March 25, 2021. On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory in New York City burned, tragically killing 146 workers. It is remembered as one of the most infamous incidents in American industrial history. The tragedy brought widespread attention to the dangerous sweatshop conditions of factories, spurred the creation of the FDNY’s Bureau of Fire Prevention, and led to the development of a series of laws and regulations that better protected the safety of workers. But what has been curiously absent or understated from the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire narrative is a closer examination of firefighting efforts that took place that day, lessons regarding rescue of people who were trapped, a more detailed understanding of the leadership demonstrated in the wake of the event and the legacy of the fire today—just to name a few topics. In this episode of the Leadership Under Fire Optimizing Human Performance Podcast, we hope to contribute more broadly to the historical narrative of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. The depth of this conversation is made possible by the extensive research efforts employed by our guest in this episode, FDNY Lieutenant Matt Connor.