“My biggest takeaway is never forget why I got into this job,” Firefighter James Stultz said. “We can see some pretty bad things, people don’t just call us to say hey. People call us because they have an emergency, something bad has happened.”
Throughout the event, firefighters played audio from the dispatchers who responded to 9/11. The crowd of DeFuniak Springs residents and firefighters listened to the audio for 10 minutes, of first responders learning that the first World Trade Center tower had been hit.
Then they walked around DeFuniak Springs Lake as they continued to listen to the audio.
“This is the first year that we’ve played the audio,” Stultz said. “I felt that it appropriate at the 20-year mark to just kind of a second to recollect. And as firemen, we’re used to listening to that on a day-to-day basis. The general public doesn’t really get to hear the frustration.”
Firefighters also hope that the event taught the public more about what 9/11 means to firefighters.
“I hope it kind of puts them in those firemen’s shoes,” Stultz. “At any point, we can be asked to do some incredible things. You know make rescues, jump in the water, go into burning buildings. And that’s a day-to-day thing for us.”