WEST JORDAN, Utah (News4Utah) – In the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, 62 members of Utah Task Force 1 deployed to help.
“It was amazing to me to see so much destruction,” said Division Chief Bryan Case with Unified Fire Authority, who is also a member of Utah Task Force 1.
“The work was — it was arduous,” said Case.
It’s been 17 years since the task force deployed, but Case says many of the memories are still vivid.
“We were looking for — and, in some cases, finding — body parts,” said Case.
“It was just this weird, awkward eerie silence every time a body would be removed from the pile,” he added.
The work was somber, Case says. Important work — that made task force members feel “honored to be able to be there.”
They were there for 9 days working in the rubble.
“There was no flat ground, the smell was just heavy in the air all around you,” said Case.
It was formative work for the task force, as well.
Later, the task force would respond in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and other disasters.
“Right now, as we sit here and talk, we have a team that’s headed to Virginia ahead of Hurricane Florence,” said Case.
“We don’t have to do this work — but we get to do this work.”