Prairieville honors 911 victims with old tradition

PRAIRIEVILLE, LA (WAFB) - Crews at the Prairieville Fire Department paid tribute to the lives lost on September 11th, 2001 with an old tradition.

A small bell is rung fifteen times... something that's done at a firefighter's funeral. In this case, it was to honor all of the first responders that died during the attacks.

Crews also welcomed guest speaker Dennis O'Connell, who was serving in the New York Police Department when the attacks happened. He was knocked out by falling debris, but was eventually carried to safety.

"You never know when the worst day of your life is about to happen," O'Connell said. "The more you prepare, the more you train, the more you take your training seriously, that's what's gonna keep you going. Like I said, two things that kept us going, as firefighters, police officers, the whole bit, because it was such a devastating event, was faith and training."

"It's really scary, so what I tell my men is that you have to train every day, for whatever they give us," said Patrick Carpenter, the Chief for Ascension Parish Fire District 3. "You have to be prepared. And that's our daily training that does that for us."

O'Connell has since retired from the New York Police Department, and now trains first responders.

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