Ladder Company 3

Ladder Company 3 is located in a small firehouse on West 13 Street in Manhattan. The company reported to the north tower of the World Trade Center where Captain Patrick "Paddy" Brown and his men were last known to be on the 35th floor of the tower. The company arrived at the WTC running “heavy”, meaning that they carried more men than would actually be on a shift (tour), as the attacks came during a shift change, and both shifts remained on duty. When the North Tower collapsed all 12 men perished. What you see here are the men of the Company who survived simply by the fate of not being on shift. I photographed them during the weeks following 9/11, often as they returned exhausted from endless “off duty” hours on the Pile, still seeking the remains of those lost. The original Ladder 3 truck was destroyed on 9/11 and its remains are a now a center piece of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the WTC site. In the days I was with them they had just received a new truck and were orienting themselves to its operation. Many of the men you see here have developed permanent and disabling illnesses as a result of their many hours on the Pile. We owe them our constant and unremitting gratitude and support.