Mann Gulch 9/11 stuff
The morning of September 11, 2001 was as normal as any. Then, a booming noise in the sky shot through the city of New York. Less than two hours later, and America had a crisis on its hands. As it is well known, over three hundred firefighters and paramedics died in the time it takes to watch a film. The shock to New York was as sudden and sweeping as the Mann Gulch fire in Montana in 1949. Despite seeming vastly different because of the scope of the fire and the fire fighters’ moral choices, the rescue effort conducted on 9/11 and the Mann Gulch fire fight reflect each other with recklessness in the units and the communication problems between firefighters.
The lingering effects resulted from tragedies very different in size. The Mann Gulch fire killed thirteen firefighters in its travel across the rural state of Montana (1 Mann Gulch Fire…). Thousands of white-collar workers, firefighters, and police officers died in the middle of New York City on 9/11. The firefighters had very different moral choices and mindsets, as well. During the Mann Gulch fire, the group of smokejumpers fought to save their own lives. When Dodge attempted to save his crew from the flame by getting them to jump into a backfire, he was ignored; the man second-in-command even allegedly yelled “To hell with that, I’m getting out of here.” (94 Maclean). On 9/11, apathy was a concept unheard of. One New York fire captain named Jay Jonas told BBC about how he and his men “were in full retreat mode… and yet [they] still had the courage to stop and save that woman on the fourth floor.” (9/11 Experiences). Everyone felt the need to help each other escape danger on 9/11, which was more than all but one of the smokejumpers could say.
New York City rescue workers may have made better moral choices at the World Trade Center, but they were no more prepared than the smokejumpers at the Mann Gulch fire. A Police Captain named Eddie Reyes told NPR News that...
Cited: Inskeep, Steve. “Analysis: Flaws of the Communications System that Failed Rescue Workers on 9/11.” Inspire St. John Public Library. 29 Nov. 2010 Keywords: 9/11, communication(s)
Inskeep, Steve. “Analysis: Testimony in First Two Days of 9-11 Commission Hearings Focuses on Problems of Miscommunication between Rescue Workers.” Inspire St. John Public Library. 29 Nov. 2010 Keywords: 9 11, problems, communication
Jonas, Jay. “9/11 Experiences: A Firefighter’s Story” bbc.co.uk. 8 Sept. 2006
Maclean, Norman. Young Men and Fire. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972.
Rothermel, Richard. “Mann Gulch Fire: A Race That Couldn’t Be Won.” May 1993: Intermountain Research Station.
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