Thursday marks 13 years since the 9/11 tragedy. Many people choose to reflect and honor those who serve our country. For one EMT instructor at Albany Technical College, 9/11 marks the beginning of his career as a paramedic.
Bryan Barnes has been an EMT instructor at Albany technical college for three years.
"I have a very big passion for EMS and who we're able to change and make a difference in people's lives. I love being in the classroom and just giving people the passion for medicine," explained Barnes.
That passion was sparked 13 years ago, after 9/11.
"I was trying to figure out what I wanted to go to school for and 9/11 happened. And I remember being at home, sitting on the couch watching the planes crash into the World Trade Center. Like everybody I was a little overwhelmed and shocked. I sat there and they had a 800 number that came up on the TV so I picked up the phone and called it and wanted to go help," said Barnes.
But he couldn't help, because Barnes didn't have a background as a first responder.
"They just kept saying well are you an EMT? Are you a paramedic? And all I could say was no. And I was like you know what? That would be a cool thing to do. So that's really what got me into it and got me started. And from there on, it was just I fell in love with the profession," said Barnes.
Now Barnes shares that love by teaching others. And he makes sure to talk about what got him started.
"With 9/11 they don't talk a lot about how many EMTs and paramedics died. Because in New York City a lot of the EMTs and paramedics are firemen also. So it affected it us and it's just one of those things they need to know what they're becoming a part of and what they might be called to do one day."
Lynn Davis is one of his EMT students, he's also a Corporal with the Dougherty County Police department. "We might not can save everyone, but if we can save one life we've done a great deed for the day. And it fills my heart with pride to know that I can do that whether in the law enforcement profession, or the medical profession," said Davis.
And 9/11 is a yearly reminder of the ultimate sacrifice some have made.