Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sacramento Firefighter Retires on 9/11 - KTXL


Eleven years have passed since the 9/11 terrorist attacks and for one local firefighter, this anniversary is more than remembering, it means retirement.

Sacramento City Fire Captain Rick Lee battled his last fire Tuesday morning and after 32 years as a fire fighter, he's retiring.

“I felt like it was important for me to leave on 9/11. I made it a point to wake up in time to put the flag up at the station at the time the first plane hit the World Trade Center,” Lee said.

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Lee was part of the Sacramento Task Force sent to ground zero within hours of the terror attacks. He spent 11 days there sifting through rubble looking for survivors.

“It was a great effort we made there to help find people and save lives. I just wanted to remember this day for the rest of my life,” continued Lee.

We asked him if being at Ground Zero changed the way he did his job as a fire fighter.

“No it didn’t change the way I did my job, it did change me though. I don’t get upset or worry about things as much anymore,” he said.

Just as the flag reached the top of the flag pole this morning, a familiar sound to Lee filled the air. It was the sound of the dispatch alarm. At first Lee said he thought his crew was commemorating the minute the plane hit, but he was wrong.

“Then the guys came out and said we have a structure fire and that’s all she wrote,” said Lee.

It was the last call Capt. Lee would ever respond to in his current position, on the 11th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.  A 32-year career with the Sac City Fire Department comes to an end.  

From all of us here at FOX40, congratulations and thank you.

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