VCFD: Remembrance and Stand-Down to reflect on 9/11

September 09, 2005
Santa Paula News

The Ventura County Fire Department will be staging a 9/11 Remembrance and Stand-Down to focus and reflect on the nation’s tragedy.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesThe Ventura County Fire Department will be staging a 9/11 Remembrance and Stand-Down to focus and reflect on the nation’s tragedy.Sunday marks the fourth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center that killed more than 3,000 people. About 10 percent - 343 - of the victims were New York Fire Department firefighters who rushed to the World Trade Center and were killed in the collapse of the center’s Twin Towers.The VCFD Remembrance and Stand-Down will acknowledge all the lives lost on 9/11, including civilian and law enforcement. The stand-down is intended to be a day to challenge firefighter safety awareness, physical ability and operational readiness. “This is a day to remind all firefighters why we are here, and how we ensure that everyone goes home to their families at the end of the work shift,” said VCFD Chief Bob Roper.
According to VCFD Public Information Officer Joe Luna, as of May there have been 50 line-of-duty deaths of firefighters throughout the nation, 10 more than last year’s figure to date. “In recognition of this trend, the VCFD will conduct a stand-down for firefighter safety,” Luna noted. A stand-down is traditionally used by the military to correct an issue that has been identified as a problem throughout its ranks.Santa Paula Fire Chief Paul Skeels said that on-duty firefighters will receive the tone broadcast at 6:59 a.m. The VCFD will have moved firefighting apparatus outside county fire stations and Raise the Colors prior to the broadcast, which will include an all points bulletin. Four sets of five bells will be rung to coincide with the collapse of the South Tower. There will be a minute of silence before the names of the 343 New York Fire Department firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11 are read by VCFD station personnel. An area minister, Fire Chaplain or station personnel will recite an invocation or the Firefighters Prayer.At 9 a.m., VCFD on-duty engine company personnel will watch a two-hour video of the 9/11 disaster. Afternoon activities will include disaster planning and employee wellness.Chief Skeels said that on-duty SPFD personnel will receive the tone and all points bulletin that will be broadcast, but the department has no plans for stand-down activities. The broadcast “will remind them of the event, it’s an important reminder,” he noted. “Our people will participate in the moment of remembrance and otherwise do their routine duties that day, they have a lot to do. I understand and appreciate what the Ventura County Fire Department is doing,” but there are no plans for SPFD personnel to suspend all non-emergency activities for a local stand-down.

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