Baton Rouge paramedic recalls his experience at Ground Zero

George Steffensen (Photo Courtesy: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) – George Steffensen has plenty of memorabilia to help him remember that tragic day 15 years ago: shirts, awards, and pictures, but he also has a lot of pain.

He lost many friends that day, including police officers, firefighters, and other first responders.

“It’s hard. It’s hard, but I think you agree with the people you lost and you’re happy for the people that survived,” Steffensen said.

Steffensen was a paramedic in New York on September 11, 2001. He lived 50 miles outside the city. After hearing the news, he rushed to the hospital, got his gear, and went into ground zero, where he treated many victims.

“It was devastating, I mean the worries that we had, I mean just knowing how many first responders were gonna’ be involved and most likely getting killed.”

Steffensen and his wife, Luci, who is also a paramedic, moved to Baton Rouge in 2007. George now works for Baton Rouge Emergency Medical Services.

Michael Keller, a firefighter with the Baton Rouge Fire Department, was in high school when the attack happened. He joined fellow firefighters in a moment of silence Sunday morning to honor the fallen responders. Keller served in the U.S. army for six years before becoming a firefighter, and he says 9/11 was what inspired him to serve.

“I actually joined the military straight out of high school. It had a big impact on me as far as that.”

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