ALBANY -- Firefighters share a common bond no matter where they serve. They have a deep understanding of the dangers they face to save lives.
The accents were different, but two firefighters from the 9/11 emergency response team in New York City and the brass at the Albany Fire Department discussed the job as brothers with the same code.
Firefighters put their lives on the line and run toward the blaze to save lives whether in Albany or New York City.
"We knew we were going to lose a lot of people," said Thomas Feaser, 52, who was with Ladder Company 113 during the attack. "But we were going to put hose down and save as many as we could."
Now that both are retired, Feaser and his friend Warren Forsyth, 51, who was with Ladder Company 78, were visiting the area as part of the Purple Heart Outdoor/Operation One Voice Quail Hunt this weekend.
The event honors wounded veterans and gives them outdoor recreation and a chance to join in fellowship. About 40 U.S. soldiers, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, are here for the weekend.
"We can't wait to get together with the military," Forsyth said. "They are the real heroes who are fighting for our country. A lot of them joined after 9/11 to fight."
Forsyth and Feaser have toured the country speaking to different groups. They took what Forsyth called the "Woody and Tommy" show to Sherwood Christian Academy and Deerfield-Windsor School Friday.
"We tried to tell the kids about the sacrifice that comes with the job," Forsyth said. "Firefighters everywhere are all about giving of themselves to rescue people. We don't want them to forget the country was attacked."
The New York City firefighters spoke about the fear they felt at times
while working at the terrorist attack site. Despite the fear, the firefighters did their job.
"You can train for 30 years, but it takes a lot to have it in your heart to do the right thing," Forsyth said. "We firefighters are all the same."
During the 45-minute conversation with fire Chief James Carswell and
Assistant Chief Ron Rowe at the main fire station on the 300 block of North Jackson Street the firefighters seemed to know they were among their tribe.
"You can go anywhere in the world," Carswell said, "and firefighters will treat you like family."
Sean Edmonson, 44, a firefighter at the Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, had the assignment to drive the 9/11 firefighters to the schools for their talks and to other engagements. His son, Chase, 8, is home schooled and tagged along with his dad on the assignment.
"I heard them talk and I think what they did was cool," Chase said. "It was sad too."