2001-09-15 / Editorial/Opinion

They Run Towards Danger

They Run Towards Danger

The cowardly attack on Manhattan and the resulting death of hundreds of firefighters and police officers once again underscores that old maxim: When the majority of people are running away from danger, emergency responders run towards danger. That is their job. There are hundreds of stories of heroism coming from the area of the World Trade Center. The stories are of cops, firefighters and Emergency Medical Service workers who rushed into the area and pulled the living to safety while buildings were collapsing all around them. There is a story of one EMS worker with local ties who was buried when the first tower collapsed. He dug himself out and went to the second tower. When it collapsed, he was buried once again. This time, he was pulled from the rubble by fellow workers and was taken to the hospital. I do not know the definition of "hero," but this certainly fits our description of the word. Many of these men and women were volunteers. Ambulances from Nassau and Suffolk County volunteer units responded. People were brought from the scene to local hospitals by ambulances from Merrick and points east. Ordinary people flooded to the scene, bringing food, heavy equipment, and solace. They too are heroes. The Broad Channel volunteers were at the scene when the first building collapsed around them. Their rig was destroyed but they all survived, some with broken bones and lacerations. One of the volies was blown so hard from the impact that his boots came off and were lost in the action. The volies were taken to New Jersey hospitals for treatment. Many other locals, police officers, firefighters and workers who were in the building on that tragic morning, were reportedly killed when the buildings collapsed. The emergency responders, as they are trained to do, ran towards the danger. They always do. They do because that is who they are and we should all be thankful that we have people such as these.


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