Transcripts 41-60

EMS CAPTAIN FRANK DAMATO, LIEUTENANT WILLIAM MELARANGO, EMT ALLEN CRUZ, EMT PATRICIA ONDROVIC, FIREFIGHTER DEAN COUTSOUROS, FIREFIGHTER ARTHUR MYERS, F. F. KEVIN MC GOVERN, EMT DECOSTA WRIGHT, CHIEF THOMAS MCCARTHY, PARAMEDIC MARK HARRIS, EMT VALERIE LONG0, EMT STEPHEN HESS

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

EMS CAPTAIN FRANK DAMATO

Tanscript

At that time we hear another explosion, which I thought was a secondary explosion, but which I later found out was a second plane that hit.

Whatever time it was when that first building started to come down, all we heard was just like a loud thunder that didn’t stop. When you looked up you saw the debris starting to fall from the top, and a cloud of smoke on top and it was hard to judge where the debris was going to fall, because it was so high.

I must have been walking maybe about two minutes and I heard the rumble again. Again, it was the same noise, that thunder that didn’t stop. It was the second tower coming down.

LIEUTENANT WILLIAM MELARANGO

Transcript

Q. About what time did you arrive on the scene?
A. I heard the explosion. I didn't see the second plane hit. I'm looking at your schedule here. So it had to be 9:05,
9:06 a.m. when I got to the building.

We were starting to think about moving the triage area to a safer location, to the lobby of the hotel. At some point we heard the rumble, and the building came down and everybody scrambled.
Q. You were in front of what building?
A. The Millennium Hotel.

I was treating the police officer's arm. We were wrapping it up when we heard the rumble from the second building and it start to collapse. We scrambled again.

A few minutes after that a police officer came up to me and told me that the fa├žade in front of Seven World Trade Center was gone and they thought there was an imminent collapse of Seven World Trade Center.

EMT ALLEN CRUZ

Transcript

As I was standing there, this one lady to my left grabbed me really really tight, my forearm, my left forearm, and we were both looking up at this fire. We both hear this rumble, and I felt a vibration, we looked slightly to the left, all of us, there's a whole bunch of us right next to the vehicle, and there comes this plane, a huge plane. The lady next to me says Oh my God, it's gonna hit the building. I didn’t want to give her false information so I said Gee, I don’t think so, well I hope not. I mean we’re looking at it sort of in three dimensions, so I’m thinking it's gonna go behind the building. From where we we’re standing, it's gonna go right behind it, but it was too big and far too low. At that moment I said it's gonna hit. And it hit.

As we were doing that, somebody said, there's another plane. That’s it, another plane is coming, another plane is gonna crash. We heard this rumble, that’s when the building came down. We all thought it was a plane. Everybody just, firefighters, myself, we were treating people, everybody just threw themselves down to the floor, and they hid all around my vehicle. You know, anything you could find, they just threw themselves down. We actually thought it was another plane. That’s right. That’s when the other building came down. Because we heard the rumble(BOOM). Just crashing down, I thought It was another plane.

EMT PATRICIA ONDROVIC

Transcript

I looked at him, I said what's wrong? He said there's another plane headed our way, and they just blew up the Pentagon. I said, another plane? What are you talking about? I hadn't realized that planes had hit this, I thought they just set bombs off. I didn't realize when I got there that planes hit it. I said, what do you mean another plane? He said two planes hit the World Trade Center. So I'm thinking a little Cessna. How can a little Cessna do all that damage? He said no, 757s. I said big things? See I was there for about 25 minutes before I knew that planes had crashed into this. We just got assigned to do stand-by. We didn't know what the stand-by was. I mean, who thinks something like that? You just think they hit it again. So I said, what do you mean there's another one headed this way? He said, it's on the TV, there's a TV in there and it said that the Pentagon has been hit.

My partner and I grabbed our stretcher, went to put it in the back of our vehicle, and at that time, I think it was the lobby of the building behind us blew out.

As I was running up Vesey, the first car blew up on me on the corner of Vessey and the West Side Highway. That set my turnout coat on fire, that set my hair on fire, and that set my feet on fire. I kept running.

I kept running North.
Q: Through
North Park?
A: I guess that's
North Park. It's a big green, grassy area, and there's nothing there. As I was running up here, two or three more cars exploded on me. They weren't near any buildings at that point, they were just parked on the street. The traffic guys hadn't gotten a chance to tow anything yet, cause this was all during the first hour I guess of this thing happening. So there were still cars parked on the street that were completely independent of that. Three cars blew up on me, stuff was being thrown. I went home all bruised that day. Thank God it was only bruises. I just ran into this park along with a bunch of other people, and stuff was still blowing up, I don't think I looked back, but you couldn't see anything, everything was just black.

Stuff is still blowing up behind me, as I'm running. I can hear stuff exploding. I could hear rumbling, the street under me was moving like I was in an earthquake. I've been in those, so I know what they feel like. It felt like an earthquake.

About fifteen blocks later, I had no idea that that was just the first tower that had come down. I had no idea at that time that that's what that was, and the other buildings were being affected, of course, by that building falling.

I was just talking to him 20 minutes before everything blew up. I don't know where he ran, I don't know if he ran the wrong way, cause I know I ran the right way. If you ran the opposite way, you were dead. As I got like 15, 20 blocks away, now I'm on the West Side Highway cause I came out of this park and I found the other ambulance. I saw my ex-partner, and I said get in this thing and drive it to Westchester. I told him get the hell out of the city. Get everyone was can get in this, I said shit's still blowing up down there. Whatever you do, don't go in that direction, start driving north.

FIREFIGHTER DEAN COUTSOUROS

Transcript

I was directly in the middle of the street on Washington street, and there were two guys, three guys behind me, and I was right in the middle of the street and that's when the tower started to come. I happened to be looking up at it and from the fire floor down, it was just like a really loud crackling noise, it sounded like a million firecrackers, and just a wave, right from the fire floor down, just a wave that started to come down.

We didn't know what really was going on. I saw the building come down, but I think I was the only one who actually saw it come down. As soon as everything collapsed, that loud rumble, everything collapsed, Owen Carlock handed me an ax.

FIREFIGHTER ARTHUR MYERS

Transcript

At that time you hear all this crackling and thundering noise. We look up, and you see the first building, the south tower, coming down. I said, 'Oh, shit. It's falling.' At that time, Giuliani, his crew and myself, we were running.

I'm walking back to the rig. Say my rig is right there, in this area here. When I get about within a block range of it, now you hear this cracking again, this thunder again. You know from the first one, hey, this thing is coming down. You look up, and now it's coming at a rapid--it's just falling.

F. F. KEVIN MC GOVERN

Transcript

I was behind them, and the fence was between us, so I just decided--you know, I seen when the thing started collapsing. It just sounded like a huge thunderous noise, and I looked up and looked like a big, gray concrete wave coming down on me, so rather than running towards it and around the fence, I just turned right and into the rear and ran up--there was a little plaza in front of the winder garden entrance.

And I'm like trying to calm her down and I said, 'Take some oxygen. Take some oxygen.' So I stayed with her for a minute, and those jets flying over turned out to be our jets, because u can tell by the sign. I looked up. I seen our Air Force Jets. I said, 'Those are our jets.'

While we were searching, that's when 7 World Trade Center was pretty much on fire, so after awhile, they--we left, and they pulled a lot of people out of the rubble, because they were worried about 7 coming down, so we went back up Vessey, sat by the rig, because ?we kind of sat there for a long time, because they had pulled people back, because they were worried about 7 coming down.

We sat up by the rig which was being fed by the marine unit, and there was a line from us stretched to one of the tower ladders on Vessey, which had to also pull back, too because of 7 coming down, and we just kind of stayed with the rig until 7 came down and kind of awaited orders and really didn't --you know, really didn't get any assignments. I guess they were worried about the stability of everything.

EMT DECOSTA WRIGHT

Transcript

Q. Where you there when building 7 came down in the afternoon?
A. Yes.
Q. You were still there?
A. Yes, so basically they measured out how far the building was going to come, so we knew exactly where we could stand.
Q. So they just put you in a safe area, safe enough for when that building came down?
A. 5 blocks. 5 blocks away. We still could see. Exactly right on the point, the cloud stopped right there. Then when that building was coming down, the same thing, that same rumbling. That's why I like, for a couple of weeks, every little sound that I heard. It was unreal.

CHIEF THOMAS MCCARTHY

Transcript

As we went down Vessey Street, we came across ESU trucks and police vehicles that were on fire and in some of them, the bullets were starting to go off.

I left then. I walked around the building to go back to the command post and that's when they were waiting for 7 World Trade to come down. I didn't know they were waiting at that time. I called in. they had three floors of fire on three separate floors, probably 10, 11 and 15 it looked like, just burning merrily. It was pretty amazing, you know, it's the afternoon in Lower Manhatten, a major-high-rise is burning, and they said we know. I think they said they had seven to ten floors that were freestanding and they weren't going to send anyone in.

So when I get to the command post, they just had a flood of guys standing there. They were just waiting for 7 to come down.

I made it down to Vessey Street to just in front of the overpass of 7 World Trade. People were saying don't stand under there, it's going to come down.

So at that point we were a little leery about how the bridge was tied in, so no one was really going onto it, and then they were also saying 7 was going to come down. They chased everyone off the block.
Q. You said before, chief, that you heard bullets going off. Approximately how many did you hear?
A. Oh, it was like it was just constant. Whatever I guess there were packages or something, and as they heated up, they were just pop pop pop pop pop pop pop. They were going off like at a steady rate.

PARAMEDIC MARK HARRIS

Transcript

Q. Who were you working with?
A. Kathy Zarr. As we got out of the tunnel , we looked -- got out -- pulled out of the tunnel and the second plane hit as we pulled out of the tunnel.
Q. You saw it hit ?
A. I didn't see it, but we heard the explosion. We heard the explosion and looked up.

I wanted to relay to them because I didn't know what was going on, but I just saw that, so I walked back and as we walked back, we were sitting there talking and we heard a sound that sounded like a plane -- like you were in the middle of a plane engine. Everybody looked up and you said oh, no, a third one. That's how loud it was. Then we turned our eyes toward the Trade Center and we saw the top building come down.

EMT VALERIE LONG0

Transcript

Around, I don't know, maybe 15 minutes or 20 minutes after we got there, 15 minutes, we heard a rumbling. It sounded like a freight train coming at you. All they did was say to run. So we ran down Vessey Street and ended up on North End, which is about a long block up. The first tower, whatever tower that was, number ?
Q. The north tower?
A. The north tower had fallen, and we didn't know what was going on.

EMT STEPHEN HESS

Transcript

We were helping out and then approximately, according to the time sheet, 9:55 we heard this loud rumbling noise, looked up and saw the building coming down.

That's about the point when the building came down and my back was to it. I heard the noise. I turned around and it looked like I was looking at a movie. It was like surrealistic. I can still vividly see the debris coming down and starting running. The noise is -- I thought it was another plane actually, because the noise was so deafening loud, from everything coming down.