DENVER (CBS4) – Hundreds of hours of video from inside the rubble of the World Trade Center has been sitting on the shelves for years. Now CBS4 has obtained some of those pictures, including scenes of a team from Colorado at work.
The video shows members of the Colorado-based Urban Search and Rescue Team. It’s known as Colorado Task Force 1.
When planes became missiles the members of Colorado Task Force 1 quickly realized that they would be summoned to leave their jobs such as doctors and firefighters to answer the call for help. Now they can be seen in action inside the World Trade Center at that terrible time
It was the job of Colorado Task Force 1 to try to find survivors, if any. Among the rescuers was Ann Wichmann and her black Labrador dog Jenner.
“He just looked back at me with this look of horror on his face and his eyes with, ‘What happened here?” Wichmann said. “He was as horrified as we were.”
It was horror that extended across bridges spanning crevasses of concrete and steel — smoking remains that seemed aptly labeled Ground Zero. It was into that devastation that Jenner was among the dogs released to search.
“Their drive is so strong to find people that sometimes it’s like launching a rocket ship,” Wichmann said.
It was dangerous for the dogs and most certainly for the rescue workers who risked their lives to try to save others.
From across the country rescuers descended into an earthquake like rubble, but this disaster was man-made. Deep into the subway the search went — an everyday world abandoned — unread newspapers with headlines that paled to what the next day’s would be.
The team from Colorado was armed with pictures, mapping, and a need to put their emotions aside.
“Honestly nothing could prepare you for what you are going to see or what it actually looked like upon arrival,” Steve Aseltine with Colorado Task Force 1 said.
Aseltine, a West Metro firefighter, joined those searching where 343 firefighters and paramedics had lost their lives among the total of nearly 3,000 killed in three locations of the terrorist attacks.
“The most important thing for me is to not forget people who lost loved ones at the World Trade Center,” he said.
In the end Jenner and the Colorado team were unable to find survivors, very simply because by then more than a week after the attack there were none.
Wichmann took home an important lesson from the rubble of the World Trade Center — be thankful for each day.
“Every anniversary of the World Trade Center is (significant). I think it is for a lot of people,” Wichmann said.
A decade has come and gone, but a day stands out like no other.