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September 11, 2001 to Today

A new chapter in FDNY history was opened on September 11, 2001. On that day, terrorist attacks on the United States claimed nearly 3,000 lives. At the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, after two planes that flew into the twin towers created insurmountable physical damage, the two icons of the New York City skyline collapsed, taking with them 2,606 lives including 343 members of the FDNY.

While the devastation can be characterized by statistics, numbers alone do not reveal the true impact this tragic event had on the FDNY. In the immediate aftermath, responses still had to be made to emergencies throughout the five boroughs, searches had to be launched for both survivors and victims, fires had to be extinguished at the site, and ultimately, the FDNY had to continue to provide its vital services to the people of the metropolis with depleted resources into the foreseeable future.

Since that day, the FDNY has evolved into a strong “all hazards agency” to prepare itself for the new threats to our society, and has re-built both its human talent and the physical assets in order to do so. A new unit for Counter-Terrorism and Emergency Preparedness was launched. A medical monitoring program was begun to track the plethora of illnesses exhibited by members of the Department who worked tirelessly at the WTC site in rescue and recovery efforts. The effects of September 11 will be felt by the FDNY well into the future.

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All that remains of the World Trade Center after the terrorist attacks September 11, 2001.

The 9/11 Memorial reflecting pool as it appears today. Photo by Julien DiMajo

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