BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — After 18 years, Binghamton Fire Chief Timothy O’Neill will never forget responding to Ground Zero.
He and five other Binghamton Firefighters were sent to New York City ten days following the tragic attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
“It did affect me a lot it, affected me in personal ways, it affected how we do our job,” said Capt. O’Neill.
Just months before 9/11, O’Neill was training in New York City, at the very building he would later see as a pile of rubble. The experience left a lasting memory in his mind as he continues to mourn the first responders who have died after the attacks.
He said, “There’s been 1,000 or more additional deaths since the event and it’s just going to continue to rise.”
O’Neill said he’s visited many of the 9/11 memorials since he was at Ground Zero and its helped him cope with those difficult images.
“We’ve learned some things, those are the hardest lessons to learn you know when tragedy happens you don’t learn something from them then it happened for no reason,” said O’Neill.