Contributor's location on 9/11: Working In WTC # 1 on the 23rd Floor For Empire Blue Cross
Contributed on: July 29, 2002
The September 11 Digital Archive,
My Story is as Follows
I was working that morning in WTC # 1 on the 23rd floor when the 1st plane hit, like everyone on our floor I was taken by what was first the Crash of the plane & then the Explosion it sent Through the Building. At that time I did not know it was a plane that caused the explosion so I had no fear because I felt the explosion was above us and new we had to get out. My first reaction was to make sure no one panicked being one of the fire wardens of the floor I made sure everyone got off the floor in an orderly fashion. There were some people who sat at their desk waiting for word on what to do however I assured them that the best thing to do was to get out. Some women was on the floor praying as I picked her up I told her the best thing to do would be to pray in the Stairs going down, I also had to stop the Stock delivery Guy from trying to get his stock wagon out through the doors. That was mainly it. I went around the floor 1 more time & checked both bathrooms to make sure I was the last one on that floor. Then I made my descend down to the lobby which is when I came across a man on the 20th floor who was having a asthmatic attack he didn’t want to move. The Fireman asked if 2 men could volunteer to carry this man down so I volunteered as one of those Men. We carried him to the Lobby were he then said he can walk on his own then the other man left so he used my shoulder to lean on as we went through the lobby to get outside. It was then when he dropped his pump that a cop came over to help that I asked the Cop what happened he then told me that someone flew a plane into WTC 1 and just 10 minutes ago someone just did it to WTC # 2 also. So as I was in the staircase another plane hit tower 2. Now as I was leaving the trade center through borders bookstore a daily news photographer took a picture of me with the man I carried down. & I didn’t know this picture was available in a gallery at 420 east 9th street with other pictures of that day until a friend of mine noticed it in a store by the trade center in March of 2002. Now Because of this picture I was able to find out who the man was because on that day I just brought him to a ambulance on Broadway and they took care of him and I just went home by the way of the Brooklyn Bridge. The man works for the same company as me, I didn’t know him I just came down and saw someone and helped him. His name is William Garrido I called him in April and he was pleased to here from me and very grateful of me for helping him that day. Getting back to that day I also want to say that as I was quarter way going over the bridge that Tower 2 collapsed and by the time I arrived to the Brooklyn side of the Bridge the other building was history too. My first thing was to go to my wife’s job so she knew I was Ok I had no way of getting in touch with her other wise. She was so happy to see me and we both went home to get our kids who were in school at the time and to assure or families that I was OK.
Cite as: Patrick D. O'Toole, Image #502, The September 11 Digital Archive, 29 July 2002,