September 11, 2021
Sept. 11, 2001
“I know exactly where I was on 9/11—in my office, standing at my desk. Dispatch informed me that a plane had hit the first tower, and when the second plane hit, we (Richmond Ambulance Service in Richmond, Virginia) went into emergency mode.
I was so proud of my dispatchers. We expected a spike in calls and made sure we were fully staffed in the dispatch center and in the field. I was impressed by their total professionalism in the face of what was going on not only 90 miles away (in Washington, D.C.), but also what was going on in our city limits. They were dealing with this on top of our day-to-day operations, plus being worried about their families. There was never any wavering about what to do or how to do it. They were the real deal.”
Joe’s shift at the Jersey City Fire Department communication center ended shortly after the first plane struck the south tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
The smoke billowing from the South Tower mesmerized Lenore - “this can’t be happening, it was surreal,” she thought to herself – and then her cell phone rang.