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Continental Flight 3407 crashed into a home in Clarence Center around 10:20pm on Thursday-February 12, 2009 -†killing 50 people and changing the lives of thousands more, including mine.

I responded in the first wave of emergency services personnel sent to help restore order to the chaos that the crash created.

Frankly, Iím not ready to write about this experience at length. Not because I’m deeply disturbed by what I saw (how can you not be?), but because I don’t want what I write to be about me, despite my being intimately involved.

I just didnít want to go any longer without conveying my deep sense of pride, admiration and gratitude to the men and women and the families of the Clarence Center Volunteer Fire Company.

I’m not sure I’ve ever been prouder of a group of people than I am of Clarence Center†and all their mutual aid partners right now.

As Deputy Fire Coordinator for Erie County and as part of the Unified Command team†in the EOC, I am not in the least surprised by their actions, their professionalism, their respect and their caring for all those affected. I would expect nothing else.

I am simply in awe.

I’ve known all along that we have some of the greatest firefighters right here in Erie County. Chief Dave Case and his entire team have just proven it to the rest of the world.

I was there with them from the onset and we will be together until the end of this operation and beyond. I am proud and honored to stand amongst them and to call them my friends.

I thank them for their service.

Stay tuned here for more insights into the heroic efforts†of these firefighters and first responders.

2/24/09 – Chief Case Goes to Washington.

6 Comments

  • champ says:

    Very nice,Champ. I know you’ll do a fantastic job.

  • champ says:

    Very nice,Champ. I know you’ll do a fantastic job.

  • Capt. Rich Bliven says:

    Tiger;

    I’ve wondered if you were involved in this incident. I hope you are doing well. Take care, and keep up the good work.

  • Capt. Rich Bliven says:

    Tiger;

    I’ve wondered if you were involved in this incident. I hope you are doing well. Take care, and keep up the good work.

  • Past Chief Gordy Kotars says:

    Chief Case…You, your firefighters and your mutual aid companies are in some pretty damn fine company to be associated with the “Tiger”, who I classify as one of the premier fire service personalities in the Country.
    God Bless and as the Earl says…Stay Safe and train often!

    Gordy Kotars
    Past Chief
    Taunton Volunteer Fire Dept.

  • Past Chief Gordy Kotars says:

    Chief Case…You, your firefighters and your mutual aid companies are in some pretty damn fine company to be associated with the “Tiger”, who I classify as one of the premier fire service personalities in the Country.
    God Bless and as the Earl says…Stay Safe and train often!

    Gordy Kotars
    Past Chief
    Taunton Volunteer Fire Dept.

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