Sitting outside the Fairfield Fire Department is a 9-11 memorial is adorned with flags. It’s a tribute to the 343 firefighters who were killed ten years ago during the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
“They went into the building to save everyone and they gave up their lives,” said Fairfield Fire Chief Richard Felner.
A steel beam at the Department taken from the World Trade Center is a reminder of the devastation of that day and how hundreds of first responders rushed in to help.
“It's a thing where I want our community to never forget and remember what our brother firefighters went through and our police officers and EMT workers. I think by having this out front is just a remembrance to make sure we never forget,” said Felner.
For many of the firefighters here in Fairfield this memorial has an even greater meaning, because they went down to Ground Zero and saw what had happened.
“We actually heard the radio transmissions from FDNY that they were responding in, and we heard the pleas for help from the people who were trapped in trucks and couldn't get out,” said Fairfield Fire Lt. Roger Caisse.
So the Fairfield team went to help their fellow firefighters. It took them two tries to get down to the site, but when they got there they joined in the search for survivors.
“The reality of it hit you when there was nothing but debris as high has you can see. Very eerie that the helicopters flying above were gunships, looking for possible targets or to protect the personnel that were working on the ground. About every ten or 15 minutes or so, warning horns would go off that other buildings that were compromised were dropping pieces of glass,” said Caisse.
But the Fairfield firefighters made it through and spent days going through the rubble. Now on the tenth anniversary of 9-11, a piece of the building they had to rummage through sits outside the firehouse they return to every day.