What would make someone rush into a towering inferno and dash up stairs toward danger against a flow of human beings running in the opposite direction? Only someone who's been there can tell us.
In this first book-length account of the rescue efforts at the World Trade Center, retired New York City firefighter Dennis Smith gives a remarkable eyewitness account of perhaps the most heroic and desperate collaborative disaster effort in recent history. Smith arrived on the scene shortly after the attacks on September 11 and stayed for weeks. He stretched hoses, picked up bodies, and talked with police, firefighters, and emergency workers who had rushed downtown to confront a spectacle no rescue worker had ever faced before.
In Report from Ground Zero, Smith gives us the stories of some of the 343 firefighters who were reported missing or dead, including; Captain Pat Brown from Ladder Company 3, who was a personal friend; a father and son; the department's beloved chaplain; commanders; rookies; and entire companies that were lost. Smith pays tribute to the dozens of police and emergency workers who dies, as well as those who undertook an urgent search and rescue mission and, finally, the grim and daunting task of massive clean up.
Smith's rare blend of superb writing skills and up-close firefighting experience drop us into the psyche of a firefighter, which sheds light on what would make someone rush into a flaming building: it's called heroism.