As we approach the 15th anniversary of 9/11, our thoughts turn to the firefighters, police officers, paramedics, and all emergency first responders. These are the dedicated workers who rush toward the scene of a crisis, while others run away. On that terrible day, dozens of private ambulances and over 100 city EMS units raced to the scene. They established a triage center, which allowed them to stabilize severely wounded patients on site and send others to nearby hospitals. At the same moment, over 2,000 police officers of the NYPD and Port Authority scrambled to secure the scene and rescue survivors.
But the primary coordination efforts at the scene were conducted by firefighters. Throughout the entire day and into the night, after the collapse of the first tower and then the second, about 214 units dispatched in 10 waves. All were coordinated from command centers in each of the five boroughs of New York City. The fire department response on that day represented the equivalent of a five-alarm fire responses. For perspective, a single-alarm call usually mobilizes six units (three engines, two ladder trucks, and a battalion chief.) Again, FDNY mobilized 214 units this day; specifically, 112 engines, 58 ladder trucks, five rescue companies, four Marine units, seven squad companies, as well as many chiefs, command, communication, and support units. All day and all night, waves of chiefs, rescue companies, marine units, and support units covered the scene, risking their lives in a desperate race to find survivors, treat the wounded, and search through the rubble for signs of life.
Fifteen years later, these first responders still live with the memories of that life-changing moment. Many of them have said (and continue to repeat) “I was just doing my job.” As a nation, we honor them for all they did on that day, and since that time, their actions have inspired countless others (some of whom were only toddlers in 2001) to follow in their footsteps and pursue fire department and first responder positions.
This is a powerful expression of gratitude, especially for young adults who are in the process of choosing a career path, or experienced workers who are contemplating a career change. If you’re looking for a career that can allow you to make an immeasurable difference in the face of a crisis or an unexpected event, consider becoming a first responder. If you choose to do so, do it with pride. Remember the sacrifices of the 9/11 first responders.
From all of us at MyPerfectResume, we thank the 9/11 first responders for risking their lives on that tragic day. Thank you to all workers who put their lives on the line at work. We salute you, and all that you do.