OKTIBBEHA/CALHOUN COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Everyday, thousands of emergency workers put their lives on the line.
On this day we stop to remember those who lost their lives 18 years ago, and recognize the men and women on the job today.
We call them first responders.
Through late night and early morning shifts, they answer emergency calls preparing for the unknown.
On September 11, 2001 hundreds of police officers, firefighters, and EMTs worked tirelessly, responding to the terrorist attacks.
“I will never forget that day, I was in school at the time, I was in science class and we were able to watch it, ” said Eric Breazeale.
That very day inspired Breazeale to become a firefighter.
He said he’s grateful people are showing their appreciation for first responders.
“I just want to say to each and everyone in this community that I appreciate them in this great country that we have and just not to give up. I know that firefighters can be tough whenever you go through traumatic situations. I just want to tell each and everyone of them thank you,” said Breazeale.
No matter the circumstances, these men and women put themselves in situations because they want to help.
Bruce police officer and volunteer firefighter Manuel Mata said he took this role simply because he loves his town.
“The community looks at us in the time of need and we’re there to respond and if they need something along the way we’re there to help them out. It’s a good sense of pride helping the community and being for our community cause we are such a close-knit community between firefighters, EMS, and police officers we all kind of work together, it’s a good sense of pride, “said Mata.
Breazeale and Mata agree, while the job can seem never-ending, it makes all the difference knowing you possibly saved a life.
And both men said they’ll always acknowledge the devastating call their brothers and sisters responded to 18 years ago.
“We’ll keep remembering, and we’ll take the watch from here, “said Mata.
Mata and Breazeale are committed to their career paths and have no plans to retire any time soon.