Firefighters to tell of Trade Centre disaster

By ELIZABETH BINNING AND NZPA

A United States firefighter who helped rescue people from the World Trade Centre after last year's terrorist attacks will visit New Zealand to talk about working through crises.

Deputy Chief Nick Visconti will hold a series of seminars to tell emergency service workers about large-scale emergencies.

Mr Visconti, a veteran with 32 years' experience, commanded a large section of Ground Zero after the towers collapsed.

The senior firefighter supervised the rescue of the last fire crew to survive the World Trade Centre attacks, where 343 firefighters and 23 police officers died. At this month's seminars, in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, Mr Visconti will discuss the feelings and emotions at Ground Zero and problems the fire department had with command and control.

Mr Visconti will be joined by Captain Mike Currid, who will describe his own experiences and life after September 11, and by Lieutenant Jack Ginty, who was trapped but managed to escape.

The seminars have been organised by the New Zealand branch of the Institution of Fire Engineers.

Spokesman Jeff McCulloch said they were a chance for emergency service workers to learn what worked and what could be done better when disaster struck.

The non-profit seminars will also be open to the public, at a cost of $85. People can register by calling 0800 200911.

* New Zealand firefighters will drive with dipped headlights tomorrow out of respect for their colleagues killed in the terrorist attacks.

Station flags will be flown at half-mast and church services will be held at Auckland's St Patrick's Cathedral and Wellington's St Paul's Cathedral.

A public march and commemoration ceremony will be held in Tauranga.

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