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Rescue workers in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks


New York City firefighters rushed to the World Trade Center minutes after the first plane struck the north tower. Senior commanders set up a command center in the lobby as firefighters climbed up the stairs. When the towers collapsed, hundreds were killed or trapped within.

The other firefighters worked alternating 24-hour shifts.

Firefighters came from hundreds of miles around New York City, including numerous volunteer units in small-town New York.

Doctors, EMTs, etc.


Many New York City and Port Authority police were killed in the collapse of the towers.

The NYPD worked alternating 12-hour shifts in the rescue and recoverty effort.


American Red Cross

National Guard


Volunteers began arriving at the World Trade Center soon after the towers collapsed. Those who arrived in the early hours helped in any way they could, including college students who gave out water to the rescue workers; later unsolicited volunteers were turned away. People with particular skills, including construction, demolition, medical training, and mental health counseling, came to assist throughout the first few days; a team of disaster relief specialists even came from France. By late Friday, September 14, there was essentially no more room for volunteers, though people had arrived from as far off as California, waiting in lines outside the relief administration center at Javits Center.

See also : September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack