9/11: The Firemen's Story

9/11: The Firemen's Story


There’s something especially heart-wrenching about seeing burly men cry. In this moving documentary – the first of many as the tenth anniversary approaches – the unwitting heroes of 9/11 tell their devastating tales, some for the first time. Bill Spades was the only one of the dozen men in his unit to survive. Another lost both sons. All feel as if they lost brothers thanks to the fraternity of New York fire departments.

Their aggressive tactics, which saw them pile into the Towers, took its awful toll: when the dust settled 343 deaths – one in ten of the casualties – were firemen. Tragically, it’s also suggested that the historical rivalry between the fire and police services may have cost extra lives because warnings about imminent collapse weren’t relayed. As for the lucky ones, they were left to dig through the rubble for the bodies of their comrades – some were unearthed after five months and many never were – and coped badly with the public’s adulation.


The stories of firefighters who served during the terrorist attacks in New York on September 11, 2001, who accounted for 343 of the 2,752 dead. Their bold tactic of rushing into the heart of skyscraper fires cost many lives, but also saved a large number of others. This documentary speaks to survivors and the families of those who died to explore what happened on the day, and the difficulties of the years that have followed.

Cast & Crew

Director Joseph Maxwell
Executive Producer Steve Humphries
Producer Joseph Maxwell