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Tallahassee firefighters remember 9/11

Posted at 11:22 PM, Sep 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-10 23:22:42-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Hal Eastman smelled the dust and smoke first hand one month after 9/11.

"This is just one large area here that was completely disintegrated," said Eastman.

Eastman, who is now retired, has photos of Ground Zero a month after it happened. At that time, rescue efforts turned into recovery efforts.

In the corner of his office, rubble from the fifth floor of the South Tower.

Eastman, along with TFD's Jarvis Bedford, went to New York City to present a check for $63,000 for families of New York Fire Department's Rescue One, a company that lost 11 of their men in the north tower.

Eastman said their friendship with FDNY is still strong, but the men who put everything on the line that day and lost their friends are still fragile.

"Me and Jarvis have a good relationship with those guys, and we don't bring it up," said Eastman. "We don't bring it up. It's a really tough thing to see."

Now Battalion Chief Bedford said his first account of 9/11, seeing fire crews working to recover people still trapped in the rubble deepened his respect for his career.

"That's what we get into this job to do," said Bedford. "To help people. Unfortunately, the times that we are called the most are when people are dealing with their most unfortunate events. But that's where I feel like we shine. That's what we practice and train to do."

Eastman and Bedford say they still keep in contact with their New York Fire Department friends to this day and say 9/11 is still a very difficult subject to talk about for their friends.