TRIBUTES PAID TO NYC FIREMEN; HUNDREDS Died but Their Bravery Saved the Lives of Thousands More. Political Correspondent RICHARD HAZLEWOOD Talks to Some of the New York Firefighters and Police Officers Coping with the Aftermath of September 11

South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales), March 6, 2002 | Go to article overview

TRIBUTES PAID TO NYC FIREMEN; HUNDREDS Died but Their Bravery Saved the Lives of Thousands More. Political Correspondent RICHARD HAZLEWOOD Talks to Some of the New York Firefighters and Police Officers Coping with the Aftermath of September 11


Byline: RICHARD HAZLEWOOD

A NOTICE on the wall of Engine 4 Ladder 15 makes a simple request: "Pray for our beloved missing brothers."

Next to it is a roll call of the 14 firefighters from the station who died.

There are also details of the funeral arrangements for a fallen colleague.

Engine 4 Ladder 15 is one of the fire houses nearest to the World Trade Centre, just a few blocks away from Ground Zero.

Outside the station, a memorial has been erected to their dead colleagues, with messages of support and sympathy from around the world.

The latest comes from First Minister Rhodri Morgan who presented a book of remembrance from colleagues from the Mid and West Wales Fire Service.

The emergency call on September 11 came just as firefighters at Engine 4 Ladder 15 were changing shift.

Fourteen of those who responded to the call were killed. In all 343 New York firefighters died.

The previous biggest loss of life for the Fire Department of New York was in 1966, when 12 were killed in a fire on East 23rd Street.

The Port Authority Police Department also lost 37 officers on September 11. Another 23 NYPD officers were killed.

American Airlines Flight 11 from Boston crashed into the upper floors of the north tower of the World Trade Centre at 8.48am New York time (12.45pm UK time). Thousands of people were already at their desks.

United Airlines flight 175 crashed into the south tower 15 minutes later.

By 10.30am both towers of the World Trade Centre had collapsed as the emergency services were trying to clear the buildings.

Their efforts in the time after the first plane struck saved thousands of lives.

Firefighter Curtis Crowe, 36, said it was still difficult to deal with the loss of so many colleagues.

"You've got to understand that more people would have died if the rescue workers had not been there, " he added.

"We saved thousands and thousands of people here. But we also lost many of our brothers."

Mr Crowe was off sick at the time of the terrorist attack, having been injured in a previous fire.

He has only been at Engine 4 Ladder 15 for two months having been stationed elsewhere in the city.

He said he was astonished by the number of colleagues who were killed and had initially hoped it was not true.

"Some places don't even have that amount of rescue workers in the whole city, " he added.

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TRIBUTES PAID TO NYC FIREMEN; HUNDREDS Died but Their Bravery Saved the Lives of Thousands More. Political Correspondent RICHARD HAZLEWOOD Talks to Some of the New York Firefighters and Police Officers Coping with the Aftermath of September 11
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