MIAMI (CBS4) – Any images you see from 9/11 instantly jog your memory. Where were you? How did you feel? Did you know someone who died that day?
For a group of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue firefighters working the recovery, it is all that and more.
Ralph Gonzalez was one of the several dozen MDFR members who headed up to Ground Zero to try and save lives instead met with constant reminders of the sacrifices made by NYC firefighters.
“They put their lives on the lines,” said Gonzalez. “They knew it going in and they still did it that is what we do everyday.”
“The pictures on television, the thoughts that were going on in our minds would not even match what we faced when we got there,” said Lt. Robert Maguire. “We will never forget the 343 who sacrificed the lives who tried to save the lives of others.”
While all firefighters have a connection to what happened that day, Fire Station 3 in West Miami-Dade has an even deeper connection. Firefighters use a red fire truck which was given to them as a symbol of the red fire trucks used in New York City. And inside the station, memorabilia marking 9/11, like a flag with the names of the firefighters who lost their lives that day.
Firefighters at Station 3 say they are changed after that day, and vow to never be caught unprepared.
“We can’t let our guard down,” said Gonzalez. “We now that there is always that possibility of an attack coming again, and I just know that Miami-Dade Fire Rescue is always going to be ready.”