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  • school project

    I am a student at Lassiter High School in Georgia and I am doing a project in my Geography class about the events that took place on September 11th. My topic is firefighters and how they handled the attacks. If any of you would be interested in doing an interview, could you please e-mail me? [email protected] If you are not a firefighter or you are not interested, could you maybe give me someone elses e-mail address? This would really help me a lot. Thank you.
    Sara Beth Pertain
    [email protected]

  • #2
    These are the questions that Ms. Pertain wants our opinions on. I think that this is a great way for us to get involved in young peoples lives. If you feel more comfortable, please email her at the address above. Remember that she is just looking for our opinions, not finger pointing.

    1.) What were your first thoughts when you heard about the terrorist attacks?

    2.) how do you think the FDNY handled the attacks?

    3.) Do you think that if something like this were to happen again, do you think that the U.S. will be prepared for it?

    4.) What precautions have your station and others around you taken to prepare yourselves incase something like this happens around you?

    If she doen't come back and post later that she has checked in, I will send your replies to her.


    • #3
      1.) My first thoughts???

      That this was going to be a nightmare... I knew if something of that scale was going on that there were going to be multiple fire companies from all over the city there... I never thought though that the buildings would ever collapse. This didn't even cross my mind for a single second. I just knew that many many firefighters were there and there was a great risk of them getting severely hurt. I was in the middle of my morning class and we were doing library research when our teacher stopped the class and told us of the news, we watched the tv and we saw the second plane hit the building as it happened... It broke my heart

      2.) I think the FDNY handled this situation to the best of their ability. They had absolutely no clue that so many of their own were going to die... If they did, then no one would have been allowed to start going far up the stairs... You have to realize, these firemen were just doing their jobs, what they had sworn to do on inaguration day into the fire service. People needed their help and they were on the way doing what they wanted to do... Even the off duty guys all got on the trucks and left... no questions asked....... There was a fire to fight and they were going to take it by the horns. They did everything they knew to do in the beginning with the conditions and situation like that...

      3.) You can never be totally prepared. Due to the fact that this was random and nothing was known about this happening. We all thought it was going to be another beautiful day. I do think however that the CIA doesn't seem to do their job very well and its just my personal opinion nothing else. However, I don't see this happening again due to the stepped up security and if it does it will be extremely rare and our fighters will be on it like white on rice... If we know for a fact that this plane has been hijacked the U.S. will most likely not take another chance, but blow the plane out of the sky. On another note, Bush is doing all he can, and through his leadership I think we will succeed in what we are attempting to do. PREVENT THIS FROM EVER HAPPENING AGAIN!

      4.) I work for a pretty much small town. I'm a volunteer but I consider it my work because I am going off to the academy after college and plan a career out of this, plus I also work 24-48 shifts with our paid city firefighters. The metro area(if you could actually call 250,000 people a metro area) they have stepped up and began training even harder, more and more so we can be prepared if something like this or anything close to it happens again. God help us all if it does.

      feel free to ask me anything else...

      [ 11-01-2001: Message edited by: Adam Spencer ]
      Adam Spencer
      Cadet Firefighter/First Responder
      Nixa Fire District
      Nixa MO 65714


      • #4
        I'm a firefigher/EMT-Basic and cop in Florida. I was on duty the day of the attacks and first heard about it on the radio in the rescue unit. I told all the other road units, then I heard the radio DJ incredulously say that another plane hit the towers. We all went into the station and stayed glued to the TV for quite a while. When we went back on the street there was almost no one out. We were afraid to answer calls because we didn't know what to expect next. I really don't know what was worse:knowing what all the victims and rescuers were going through in the burning towers or knowing what happened to them when the towers went down.

        As for FDNY, I think they handled it as well as they could. No agency could prepare for what happened. They and their dispatchers did a great job keeping things together.

        I honestly don't think that any agency or our nation can prepare for destruction of that magnitude. A mass-casualty drill just does not get you ready for death and destruction like that. All we can do is realise that it can happen and stay open minded as to all of our options. Unity and compassion as well as effective leadership are needed to keep things together at a time like that.

        As for precautions, most agencies here are keeping stations locked down and protecting the fire apparatus. We are struggling to deal with the anthrax scares and trying to educate ourselves. I work for a very small agency, but, I refuse to subscribe to the "it won't happen here" theme. On the other hand, I refuse to let terror rule. We are careful, but, not beaten into fearful submission.

        I hope this helps. Please feel free to email me if I can be of any help.

        PSO Heather Langston
        Daytona Beach Shores Public Safety
        Daytona Beach Shores, Florida
        [email protected]
        Bless all of our Fallen Brothers and Sisters. You will not be forgotten


        • #5
          Dear Sarah,

          Perhaps I could convey to you a little of the international perspective on this terrible disaster. I am a full time firefighter, at a fire station in Sydney, Australia. On the occassion of the attacks, we were watching our late night TV news at the fire station; it was about 10.45 pm. Suddennly, we were looking at pictures of WTC tower one, burning. Then we saw tower two hit and then those disastrous collapses. One of the guys remarked "Do you know many firefighters have just been killed?" There was just silence in the room. We all knew we had just witnessed a terrible, terrible disaster and that lots of our brothers wouldn't come home that day.

          Immediately, we all knew this was just the worst kind of disaster imaginable. Later that day I saw some of the toughest men I know cry (I was one of them...except that I'm not very tough!). Overnight, all our TV channels remained crossed to New York. In fact, for about 72 hours, all Australian TV channels were crossed live to the USA.

          Our reaction was one of complete shock and disbelief. It was a tragedy that touched everyone in Australia very deeply. We all had a sense of complete loss and despair, for our fallen colleagues in New York and for the many, many civilians we knew were also lost. Personally, I have never known such a sense of loss; I don't think I will ever come to grips with this tragedy. Again, from a persoanl view point, I have a little 10 month old baby son...now, when I go to work, I give him an extra kiss and a little hug. I can't express enough the sense of loss firefighters in Australia feel about this disaster; honestly, it's no exaggeration, the guys are heartbroken over it.

          So strongly does Australia as a nation feel, that our Prime Minister Mr John Howard, (in Washington DC at the time of the attacks) immediately invoked the ANZUS treaty, placing Australia on a war footing, in support of the USA war against terrorism. Since then, we have deployed special forces troops, Naval ships and airforce planes to the combat zone and have been advised by the Taliban we are now a terrorist target. Despite this, the Australian people remain committed to support the USA in any way we can. As firefighters, we are working very hard, increasing training in areas that we think could present risks.

          With respect to Question # 2, I would like to offer the following comment; The firefighters of the New York City Fire Department faced the most horrendous fire situation ever to confront firefighters, far beyond anyones imagination; On September 11th, those firefighters really did stand alone, as a tower of courage, dedication and committment to the preservation of human life. Of course, it turned out to be an impossible situation. However, we will never know how many lives were saved as a result of their actions. For example, their courage in the stairwells inspired confidence in the evacuees, enabling them to remain calm, when their world was literally falling down around them; panic in those stairwells would have resulted in a mass stampede, people trampled to death and the stairwells being blocked up. Thousands more could have died; instead, thousands were saved.

          I can't answer Q # 3. But we've all heard how the government agents stopped the attacks in California. So you are doing something right.

          I respect to Q # 4, our training has intensified dramatically; hopefully for a disaster that I pray every night never comes. We are maximising our efforts in certain areas...and we're keeping our fingers crossed!

          I hope this has helped. I thought you might be interested in the views of the firefighting family on the other side of the world. Our prayers and our deepest sympathies are with the families, loved ones and friends of those so tragically stolen from the world on September 11th...our tears remain with our fallen brothers.


          If you have any further questions, feel free to Email me: [email protected]

          On behalf of firefighters and your friends in Australia.


          • #6
            Thank you all so much for answering my questions! I have gotten about 20 e-mails and then you guys have given me more than enough. The principal at my school came to my class and told me what a good job I had done and that he was proud that I was getting involved. Thank you again! You helped me so much!
            Sara Beth


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