Hampden Co. sheriff’s deputy recounts 9/11 search at Ground Zero | News

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Lieutenant Michael Goldberg, a Hampden County sheriff’s deputy, along with his K-9, answered a desperate call for help 20 years ago from a friend, who was a New York City police officer.







LUDLOW, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — Lieutenant Michael Goldberg, a Hampden County sheriff’s deputy, along with his K-9, answered a desperate call for help 20 years ago from a friend, who was a New York City police officer.

They were on-scene by approximately 12:30 p.m. ready to search for survivors.

Here’s what Goldberg said happened next:

“We started to get ready to go inside what everybody was calling ‘the pile’ at the time.”

“At the time, I had a dog that could find people. That was what was tentatively working. Microphones weren’t working. It was too loud with the building creaking.”

“The heat signatures weren’t working, the building was too hot at the time. Dogs were working.”

“We didn’t have some equipment. One thing I pulled out was a crowbar from a crushed fire truck. Some med kits out of a crushed ambulance to have with me while we were searching.”

“What we were told to do was go underneath Tower 1 and Tower 2. There was a parking garage, a mall, a subway platform there.”

“It was kind of a grid search. It was very chaotic. We knew we just wanted to get in there and find if there were people in there and get them out.”

[Reporter: did you find any survivors?]

“No. We did not find any survivors.”

“When Building 7 collapsed around 5 o’clock that day, we were inside the mall structure. You could hear it. It sounded like a freight train.”

“A few of us were talking to each other saying ‘Hey, you know what, this is it’ ‘cause there was this wall of debris that came down…”

[Reporter: around you?!]

“It was just this wall of soot and ash, you couldn’t see so, as we were talking, you could barely see as it was underneath in the plaza, as this came towards us…we were holding hands around a pillar in the mall section. We couldn’t see. We were trapped in there for quite some time.”

“We searched for, I want to say, about 30 hours to 36 hours. It was around midday on the 12th when my dog fell through a collapsed floor structure, down a stair well about 40 feet. He had fallen and he had gotten hurt pretty badly, some rib and some paw damage. The fire department called for an ambulance to remove him to a mobile veterinarian clinic that was set up for search dogs at the time to give them fluids. It was really just exhausting for the dogs. We had to have IVs.”

“The amount of destruction is really what kind of sticks with me after all these years. Not just that, though. The amount of everybody wanting to help. It wasn’t just firemen, police officers, the iron workers union was there in force. There was just all these people. When we had come out the first night about at about 8 o’clock on September 11, there was an 18-year-old girl holding a box full of cheeseburgers from the Outback Steakhouse.  Here they are in this field of destruction, not thinking of themselves…just thinking about helping.”





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