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Firefighter Memorial Service Held At CCCCD

Firefighter Memorial Service Held At CCCCD

September 13, 2001-More than 200 Collin County Community College District students, professors and staff members joined with area firefighters to honor firefighters, police officers and rescue workers killed in the line of duty during Tuesday's terrorist attack. Held at the college's Central Park Campus in McKinney, the memorial ceremony began as members of fire academy class 21 marched solemnly toward the front of the Fire-Rescue Training complex.

Pat McAuliff, director of Fire Science, addressed the crowd and in the tradition of the fire service a fire engine bell was rung in honor of those who in an effort to save others died or are still missing.

"Our students represent fire departments throughout Collin, Dallas, and Denton Counties. Some are learning to be firefighters, others are practicing their skills at the training center." McAuliff said. "Regardless of the class they are attending, they are feeling a deep loss for those trapped during the World Trade Center building collapse," said McAuliff.

In an effort to bring awareness to the hazards of the job and importance of training, fire academy instructors gather the students for a brief ceremony anytime a firefighter in the United States is killed in the line of duty.

"By drawing attention to the circumstances surrounding a firefighter fatality, we hope to convey that the death is not in vain, and there are valuable lessons learned from tragic events." McAuliff said.

"We do this for every firefighter death to honor those before us and learn from them. What makes this so tragic is that there are so many deaths. There have never been so many firefighters lost. We honor all of our brothers and sisters in New York that paid the ultimate sacrifice. Some of the things we are teaching today we learned from Firefighter Andy Fredricks [who died during the terrorist attack]. [Fredricks wrote tips in national fire service journals.] It is a great loss," said Stuart Grant, Battalion chief of Dallas Fire Rescue and academy instructor at CCCCD.

According to McAuliff, each year, more than 100 firefighters die in the line of duty in the United States, and currently more than 250 firefighters are reported missing as a result of Tuesday's terrorist acts.

As a show of support for the families of the fallen firefighters, students in CCCC's Fire Academy Class 21 have established the FDNY 9-11 Fund to assist the families of the fallen New York firefighters. Contributions can be made at any Bank of America branch office. Donations should be made to the FDNY 911 Fund.

Academy students Mike Hoff (Frisco) and Chad Husbands (Whitesboro resident and McKinney Firefighter) led the organization of the fund. "We want people to know this will be given to the fire department union. It will go to the cause it is meant for," said Husbands. "This public service effort is a whole class effort. We will be collecting during the weekend as well as a class," said Hoff.

For more information, contact Pat McAuliff at 972.548.6837.