Sept. 11 Memorial Open to Public on Anniversary

Ceremony will be the first time public can visit the site on the day of the anniversary
This May 8, 2014 file photo shows people touching the engraved name of a victim of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York. The memorial has been visited by nearly 15 million people since it opened three years ago on the footprints of the twin towers. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Published Friday, August 29, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — The Sept. 11 memorial plaza will be open on the night of the attacks' anniversary this year, marking the first time the general public will be able to visit ground zero on the commemoration date.

The plaza will be closed to the public during the remembrance ceremony and much of the rest of the day, but it will open from 6 p.m. to midnight for those who want to pay respects and view one of the most evocative observances — the twin beams called the Tribute in Light — from an especially "meaningful vantage point," memorial President Joe Daniels said in an email Thursday to victims' families.

A symbolic shift for a site that was inaccessible to the public for years after the attacks, the plan reflects its increasing openness as more gets rebuilt.

The memorial plaza, with its massive reflecting pools etched with the names of the dead, opened in 2011. But to control crowds amid construction elsewhere on the World Trade Center property, tickets and security screening were required until this spring. Since the ticketed, underground memorial museum opened in May, open access has been allowed during days and evenings at the plaza, which joins the streetscape of lower Manhattan even as it serves as a place of remembrance protected by police and security guards. Museum officials said that security measures would be in place for the public hours on Sept. 11 but that they couldn't disclose details.

The night hours on Sept. 11 will provide visitors a solemn setting for looking at the Tribute in Light, which first appeared on March 11, 2002, to mark the six months that had passed since the attacks. It has become a moving, quietly powerful element of the anniversaries since.

It shines from a roof near the trade center, traditionally from sunset to dawn. Formed from 88 powerful bulbs positioned into two squares that echo the fallen Twin Towers, the light memorial reaches four miles skyward, according to the Municipal Art Society, a nonprofit group that orchestrates the $500,000-a-year project.

The museum will be closed to the public throughout the day.

The private anniversary ceremony will be held on the plaza in the morning, a tribute that has centered on reading of the names of the nearly 3,000 people killed in New York, at the Pentagon and near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, in the 2001 attacks, as well as recognizing the six people killed in the 1993 trade center bombing.

"Of course, remembering those we lost is something we do each and every day," Daniels noted in his message Thursday.


Reach Jennifer Peltz on Twitter @ jennpeltz.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Associated Press
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Raw Video: Manhattan Apartment Fire

Firefighters Rescue Two from Manhattan Fire

Firefighters from Ladder Company 9 rescue two women from a Manhattan fire
The members of Ladder 9 (L to R) FF John Rocchio, Lt. Michael Demeo and FF Marlon Sahai. (FDNY photo)
Published Monday, August 18, 2014

NEW YORK - FDNY firefighters rescued two women from a fire in Lower Manhattan on Aug. 17.

A call was received for a fire on St. Marks Place just before 8 a.m. Firefighters from Ladder 9 said they received reports of people trapped inside and, upon arrival, saw smoke pouring out the windows of the first floor apartment.

“We had a feeling this was something serious,” Firefighter John Rocchio said.

After rushing inside, they forced open the fire apartment door and there was thick smoke from ceiling to floor.

“You couldn’t see anything, not even your hand in front of your face,” Firefighter Rocchio said.

The fire was located in the middle of the apartment, in the living room, and they crawled past it to search the bedrooms.

Lt. Michael Demeo came across an unconscious woman in a bedroom. He and Firefighter Rocchio grabbed her and carried her out the apartment door.

Simultaneously, Probationary Firefighter Marlon Sahai found a second unconscious woman almost under a bed.

“I picked her up and just followed Lt. Demeo and Rocchio out – they were leading the way,” he said.

Both victims were taken to the street, where FDNY Paramedics Eric Gruarin and Philip Jugenheimer from Station 4 and EMTs Peter Maisonave and Ahmed Adekoya from Station 8 helped work on them and other victims before transporting them to local hospitals. The two women were in serious condition.

The firefighters then returned to the apartment and finished their searches.

Firefighter Sahai, who graduated from the Academy in December, said this was his first rescue, “It’s something I never thought I’d do, but it’s a pretty amazing feeling.”

He said one of the victim’s mothers called to thank the firefighters and tell them her daughter’s condition was improving, “It was a great job by everybody and I’m just happy [the victims] survived and are getting better – and I hope they’ll continue getting better.”

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Buffalo: Heavy Fire through the Roof Fire Destroys New York Firehouse FDNY Probies Tested for MRSA New York Fully-Involved Structure Fire

New York Firefighters’ Union Vows to Restore Ambulance Service

Lockport board had voted to drop fire department’s ambulance service due to costs
THOMAS J. PROHASKA, The Buffalo News Published Friday, August 8, 2014

LOCKPORT - The president of the Lockport Professional Fire Fighters Association vowed Wednesday that the union will force the city to restore Fire Department ambulance service.

But while the legal battle plays out, union President Kevin W. Pratt said, he's sure the city will turn over ambulance service to a private company, so he had plenty of suggestions for the Common Council, aimed at making the private service as much like the Fire Department's as possible.

Pratt attended the Council meeting to read aloud a letter he delivered to the city's attorney a few days ago, promising, "We will challenge this with all available legal means."

Pratt asserted that the ambulance service is bargained-for union work and can't be unilaterally done away with by the city.

The Fire Board voted, 4-1, July 22 to drop the Fire Department's rescue service, which the city has had for 40 years, because of the city's financial crisis.

Mayor Anne E. McCaffrey said last week that she expected the Council to vote Wednesday to issue a request for proposals from ambulance operators, but that wasn't on the agenda.

Corporation Counsel John J. Ottaviano said the task of preparing such a document had proved more complex than he expected. McCaffrey said she wasn't sure whether the delay would keep the city's two ambulances operating past Sept. 1, which she had named as the likely effective date of the switchover.

Pratt said the city needs to insist that any private operator dedicate two ambulances to Lockport, because if only one were available, the city would be left uncovered by out-of-town hospital transfers, which is a major revenue source for private operators.

He said the city should insist on a response time of four minutes or less and that the ambulances be staffed "at paramedic level." Pratt said the contract should include sanctions if "national standards are not met."

Former Alderwoman Diane M. Tuohey, noting that 30 of Lockport's 36 firefighters are paramedics, said the city really should add a third ambulance to take advantage of that and make more money in ambulance fees. Those fees are the fourth-largest revenue source the city has, at about $600,000 a year. Only property taxes, sales taxes and state financial aid are bigger.

However, McCaffrey has said, and Pratt concurred, that the two ambulances would have to be replaced in a year or two at a cost of about $300,000.

The city has been trying to cut Fire Department overtime, which has cost nearly $500,000 so far this year, by reducing minimum staffing from nine to seven firefighters per shift. Although the city won a court ruling allowing that, the change won't be instituted until the ambulances are parked.

McCaffrey told the audience at the Council meeting that she expects the State Comptroller's Office to release an audit on the city's cash flow situation soon, since the city has already sent in a response to the draft version. A second audit on other aspects of the city's finances also is being prepared by the state.

Wednesday, the Council reiterated its intention to apply to the Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments, a state agency, for fiscal advice and possible grants or loans of up to $5 million. The board can serve as the hearing panel for binding arbitrations sought by fire and police unions.

The Council passed that measure in December, but McCaffrey said the Comptroller's Office advised her that it might be best to redo it, since the city has changed mayors and Council presidents this year.

McCaffrey said she and City Clerk Richelle J. Pasceri are compiling the documentation needed for the application and plan to send it by Friday.


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Lexis Nexis
Copyright 2011 Lexus Nexus. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

New York Firefighters Battle Multiple Fires Overnight

Approximately 75 firefighters responded to fires in six different locations in Tonawanda area
Goundry Street fire is one of nine fires overnight in North Tonawanda and the City of Tonawanda on August 4, 2014. (WIVB photo)
Published Tuesday, August 5, 2014

NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) - Firefighters have been called to nine fires at six locations Tuesday morning. Fortunately, no injuries have been reported.

“Someone is setting fires in North Tonawanda and the City of Tonawanda and we don’t know who is it right now,” said Chief of Police William Hall.

Firefighters were first called to a fire on Zimmerman Street around 11:30 p.m. Monday. It appears a pickup truck parked between two houses caught fire and then spread to surrounding homes.

Shortly after that fire, firefighters were called to another fire on Ganson Street. Our News 4 photographer on the scene saw a car on fire in the driveway, that spread to two nearby homes.

WIVB Photos: Nine Fires Overnight

Following that fire, crews were dispatched to Goundry Street. The fire started in a vehicle around 1:45 a.m. and spread to an eight-unit apartment building. Four of the apartments were occupied.

Neighbors told our News 4 photographer that the fire was near the rear of home, and then there was an explosion. The City of Tonawanda Fire Department assisted in battling the flames. It took crews hours to fight the fire.

Firefighters said the fire was suspicious, but never said if it was intentionally set.

Residents of the apartment building spoke to News 4 about their experience.

One resident said, “How can it happen? That was the first thing that came to my mind.”

Another resident said, “Who would do something? How would it happen? Who would do something like that? I don’t think they realize that everything we own is gone, we can’t get anything back. It’s a good thing nobody was hurt, everybody is safe. We’re all out, everything can be replaced.”

n a completely different situation, firefighters were called to Enterprise Avenue in the City of Tonawanda.

Investigators don’t know who started the fires. They are talking to witnesses to learn more.

“Evidence is being collected that might lead us to get some kind of description. There are people that saw suspicious people in the area,” said Chief Hall.

The assistant fire chief said he does not believe this is a copy-cat situation from the fires last month on 5th Street.

A firefighter on Goundry Street spoke about the connection between the fires. “They’re all under investigation right now, and they all started in a similar fashion. “

If you have any information on the fires, call 911 or 692-4312.

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New York Firefighters Battle Multiple Fires Overnight


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