The stories of September 11, 2001 are still being formed, told, and retold. The purpose of those stories is to learn from and most importantly remember the thousands of people needlessly killed on that day. Mark Schwartz, EMT, of Hunter Ambulance, was dispatched to the scene and was killed when Tower 2 collapsed. You can read a bit more about Mark here.
Today other EMSBlogs.com posts are remembering the EMS professionals that were killed on September 11, 2001 and also thinking of the many other EMS professionals that were injured, mentally or physically, many of whom are still in pain.
One of the legacies of September 11 is that the connections between EMS professionals everywhere are stronger. First we reached out to the victims and one another. I remember watching and thinking, “how can I help?” I was not alone. EMS professionals everywhere immediately wanted to help – not just the patients, but our colleagues. Next we grieved together.
Then we asked difficult questions about “why this happened?” and “why did it happen to _____?” and the inevitable “why not me?”
EMS professionals are action oriented and as a tribute to the victims plans were made, equipment was secured, and training was completed. We are better prepared today for all hazards than we were nine years ago.
Finally, traditions were formed to memorialize Line of Duty Deaths. For the first time we had to remember a group of EMS Professionals en’masse. EMS greatly needed and continues to need ceremony to mark important career milestones – graduation, years of service, promotions, retirement, and most importantly line of duty deaths.
While unnecessary Mark Schwartz’s death does not go unremembered. His legacy continues with the work of his family, co-workers, and patients to make a difference in the lives of others. Please join me in remembering Mark, the other EMS and emergency response professionals, and all of the victims of September 11, 2001.