13 Years Later, Fire-Dex President Bill Burke Reflects on 9/11
At Fire-Dex, this tragedy hit close to home. As a fire apparel manufacturer, we take the task of developing and engineering the safest gear available to those serving in fire service very seriously. As a team, we take great care to insure that every step, every process, every stitch is sewn to protect and withstand the most severe conditions. We want to insure firefighter safety at every opportunity.
Fire-Dex CEO and President Bill Burke remembers receiving the news that a plane had struck the World Trade Center and thinking it was an accident. As a company, Fire-Dex had sales reps working all across the country that day. Lance Matiste was in New York meeting with FDNY at the time of the attacks. A few years ago, Lance shared his video account of that day and it is riveting. Allen Rom was traveling on behalf of Fire-Dex as well. In Allen’s words, “Almost 3000 people perished on September 11th. The U.S. fire service has done a tremendous job memorializing the 343 firefighters who died doing their job.”
As years passed, Bill has had time to reflect and understand the impact of 9/11 on the fire industry. Bill shared that before 9/11/01, the U.S. government allotted approximately $100M in grant money to the fire service. After the events of September 11th, the public was much more aware of the sacrifices and equipment used by those serving in fire and police safety. The federal government then increased the amount to $350M and again to $750M before beginning to lower that amount annually. Currently, the amount stays around $500M each year.
In reflecting back on that day and its influence, Bill says the public was much more aware and appreciative of public servants and the challenges they face daily in performing their duties.
On the 13th anniversary of these attacks, take time to honor and remember the victims and families directly affected by the September 11th tragedy and thank your local public safety officers.