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Our Heroes

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September 11, 2002

Albany - The way Americans view firefighters changed in just a few short hours, as hundreds of brave New York men ran into two burning towers. They were no doubt always heroes, but after that day the world started recognizing this heroism.

1,009 miles from the site of what became a grave for hundreds of New York fighters, is the Albany Fire Department. Firefighters watched as their comrades died one year ago.

"I've heard people ask why did the firefighters go into the towers if they thought the buildings would collapse," said firefighter Robert Taylor."That's are job, if we didn't go into a burning building, no one would. And people would die."

As a child, Robert Taylor dreamt of becoming a firemen. But, he didn't realize that his dream would make him a hero.

"You have to be a little crazy to be a firefighter. We go into buildings when others are running out of them," said Taylor. "But we're not heroes, its just our job."

The job changed after September 11th, when terrorism became a real threat. Now, firefighters are trained to handle the unthinkable. But father, husband, and son of a firemen, Clint Nobles, doesn't worry about his safety.

"We're not Superman. We just train for a job and we do that job when we have to," said Nobles.

Firefighters work 24-hours on 48-hours off, so these men and women become a family inside the firehouse. "We know what each other likes to eat and what time they get out of bed. This isn't your usual work relationship," said Nobles.

But, firefighters have another lives. They have families and other jobs, like Nobles who designs and builds patio decks.

They say they're not heroes, firefighting is just their job. It just happens to be a job with amazing rewards and possibly deadly consequences.

There are 159 men and women serving bravely for the Albany Fire Department.

Posted at 6:20 by kathryn.murchison@walb.com