For Pentagon First Responders, a New World Since 9/11

Memories remain, but much has changed at D.C.'s Fire Station 10.

By + More

"We had more cookies then you could ever eat," he says. "After September 11, I never wanted to eat another cookie again."

Few at Station 10 remember what it was like to be a firefighter before 9/11. Now, every unattended package is treated as suspicious, the entire team is trained in recovering people from collapsing structures, and, since the anthrax scare that closely followed 9/11, if the station receives a call about white powder, no one takes it lightly.

"Operationally, we are more cynical now," says Lt. Sean O'Connell, who was recovering in a hospital on 9/11. "We have to think like the bad guys and anticipate what they might do. We are more prepared now. There's more pre-planning going on."

And, as another September 11 nears, citizens seem to be more appreciative of the work the team does.

[Washington Whispers: Some Colleges Fight 9/11 Memorials]

"It's a cycle" Davis says. "We get more popular as we get near the anniversary. I bet this entire table will be full of food."

But, Davis won't be there. Just like 10 years ago, B shift is off on September 11.

On Sunday, Davis says, he doesn't have any interest in visiting the Pentagon memorial or recounting his experience.

"I'll probably watch football," he says. "It's a lot to think about, and I am ready to move on."

  • Read about how immigration policy has changed since 9/11.
  • See a slide show of 6 vulnerable potential terrorist targets.
  • Opinion:America Must Not Return to a Pre-9/11 Mentality