As we reflect back on a day of infamy, in which 343 fellow firefighters lost their lives as well as 60 police officers, the tragedy continues to grow. Nine years later, emergency workers are dying from a multitude of related illnesses. As of June, 2009, 836 emergency responders that were at the Trade Centers were confirmed to have died as a result of being involved in the search, rescue and clean-up operations.
As a Volunteer Firefighter, I have been going through the SC Fire Academy for over ten years, became an Instructor for the Academy, worked on the local Hazardous Materials team and served as the Training Officer on our Dept for eight years. I don't work at it full time, but what I have been taught in Officer classes and Incident Command classes is still miniscule to what these responders had to contend with, absorb and overcome.
As tragic as this event has become, it was a huge wake-up call to the United States and showed just how much our worlds are all tied into the actions of something else. I don't even begin to put myself on the level of these heroes and what they did but I am deeply saddened and extremely proud at the same time to Salute my Brother Firefighters!