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9-11 recalled

Emergency medical technicians Bryan Williams and Karen Lee receive a visit from one group from the Fayette County Ministerial Association’s 9-11 Remembrance Service. They brought letters of encouragement, cupcakes and information about the Critical Incident Stress Management Team.Pictured, from left, are Holly Dunn, Williams, Lee, Mary Dalton, Jeremiah Burdon and Sue Pflum.

By DARRELL SMITH - dsmith@newsexaminer.com

Memories of 17 years ago came back Tuesday as the Fayette County Ministerial Association opened the annual 9-11 Remembrance Service with a video of scenes of Ground Zero, Pentagon and Pennsylvania and voices from that day.

The service began at Western Avenue Baptist Church and then dispersed to serve those who serve.

“I can tell you exactly where I was, exactly who I was with and I can tell you the exact conversation that followed,” Shawn Tipton, Fairview Christian Church pastor, said. “The reality is, the suffering and pain I experienced was just a small portion of what the people at Ground Zero experienced and the first responders that rushed into the building felt.”

The ministers wanted to reflect and memorialize Sept. 11 and what has been learned and where has the nation come following that day, said Tipton, who also is chaplain for Fayette Regional Health System.

“We believe as followers of Christ that in all things, the good, bad and indifferent, God makes good things happen,” he said. “One thing we learned, our own first responders suffer with things like PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). We need to see their needs are met.”

The offering this year benefited the East Central Indiana Critical Incident Stress Management Team, a group of volunteers who have been trained to provide supportive services to first responders at no charge following a critical incident and assist emergency personnel in dealing with the emotional effects.

CISM volunteers serve in Fayette, Franklin, Union, Wayne, Rush, Henry and Delaware counties. CISM relies on donations to provide the materials.

“We live in a community that is small, so every time you hear a siren, they’re running towards someone they likely know,” said Holly Dunn, who has been through the training. “You can’t unsee or unhear what you have been to. You may be at a scene where there is a death of someone you know and then have to go home to your kids.”

The audience broke up into teams led by ministers. They visited the three Connersville fire stations, Fayette County Emergency Medical Services, Connersville Police Department and 911 Central Dispatch and the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department and Jail.

At each locations, first responders received information about CISM, letters of thank you from churches and Community Christian School and cookies or cupcakes.

The groups prayed for the first responders on duty and off.

At EMS, emergency medical technician Bryan Williams requested prayer for the driver and EMT injured in July when the ambulance they were in crashed after trying to avoid a deer in the roadway. The patient they were transporting ultimately died of his injuries.

Williams said the driver is having an especially hard time, believing he could have done something differently to avoid the incident.

EMT Karen Lee recalled standing where she stood Tuesday watching the events of Sept. 11 unfold on the television.

Williams encouraged everyone to visit the memorial at Ground Zero if possible.

“They’ve got one of the ambulances that was there when it actually happened,” he said. “It’s not in good shape. I never thought about it, you think firetrucks and police cars, but don’t think of the ambulances. It’s breath-taking, the whole memorial.”