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Local firefighters receive piece of 9/11 history and donation from nonprofit organization

Twin Towers steel delivered by Heroes Defense to the Ammon Division of Bonneville County Fire District. | Andrea Olson,
AMMON — A piece of history arrived at a fire department this week that will never be forgotten: steel from the Twin Towers in New York.
“It’s very hard to come around getting or acquiring those pieces anymore and we are probably one of the last departments to actually receive one of those,” said Bonneville County Fire District Capt. Jon Molbert. “It’s a true piece from the towers that fell on 9/11 delivered directly from FDNY and through their chiefs.”
The Ammon Division of Bonneville County Fire District received the piece Tuesday from a nonprofit organization called Heroes Defense in Idaho Falls. The organization helped coordinate with firefighters in Ammon and New York to get the piece and fund the shipping and accommodations.
The goal is to eventually build a memorial for the Twin Towers steel most likely on the fire department property off of Ammon Road. The public will have access to it.
“I think it’s really going to help our city. We see ourselves a long way from New York City. These guys (in Ammon) see themselves as brothers of New York City firefighters. They may have never met them but they are a brotherhood,” said Travis Snowder, a board member for Heroes Defense. “For them, it’s a connection. It’s that symbolism of that connection.”
The Idaho Falls Fire Department also has a piece of steel from the Twin Towers that was acquired a few years ago. The department is planning to build a 9/11 memorial at Station 1 headquarters and according to spokeswoman Kerry Hammon, the department would like to unveil it to the public on September 11. Additional information about the memorial and fundraising efforts will be announced in the coming months.  

Twin Towers steel the Idaho Falls Fire Department acquired themselves a few years ago. | Courtesy Kerry Hammon
The Idaho Falls Fire Department released a rendering of what the memorial might look like but it could change. The rendering was done by Nathan Durtschi, a lead maintenance operator for Idaho Falls Parks. 

Rendering of what the memorial might look like at the Idaho Falls Fire Department Station 1 Headquarters. | Courtesy: Nathan Durtschi
Heroes Defense is working with both departments on their memorial projects.
“(We are) trying to encompass the whole community — have one (memorial) on the west and have one on the east, that way the citizens, no matter where they are at, can see it,” said Molbert.
For Molbert, having a piece of the Twin Tower steel means a lot.
“As a fire department, a lot of what we do relies on tradition and memories and just remembering our brothers before us. So having that (the steel) here to remind us and see it every day, just gives us a bigger purpose. It reminds us of what our goal is and to never forget what happened in the past so we can always make sure we go forward,” he said.
$10,000 donated to the Ammon Division of the Bonneville County Fire District
The Ammon Division of the Bonneville County Fire District also received a $10,000 check from Heroes Defense on Tuesday to help redo the station’s bay floors.
The money came from a 9/11 fundraising banquet and auction that Heroes Defense put on last year. In three hours, around $140,000 was raised, according to Snowder.
RELATED: Local organization raises more than $140,000 for first responders
“We understand that they (Ammon) have things like the floor which help keep up morale and helps keep up the visibility and the functionality of their operations,” said Snowder. “(For Ammon) their floors were just beat up and cracked and just by driving these heavy trucks every day, they slowly would start to deteriorate and that’s a concern.”

Old floors and part of the new floors. | Andrea Olson,
According to Molbert, redoing the floors in the fire station off of Ammon Road has been severely needed for years but was always put off due to budget constraints. The floors were done around 15 years ago.
“Over time, that wears off. Our lightest truck is 45-50 thousand pounds and so driving over that all the time puts a lot of wear and tear on it. The floor was very uneven,” Molbert explained.
The floors are currently in the process of being redone by RS Concrete Restoration. Molbert said the company donated roughly $50,000 towards labor and materials to help complete the project for $10,000.

New floors. | Andrea Olson,
“Every day when you walk in here, it looks cleaner, it looks nicer or when the community members come through or kids from down the streets come in for tours, it just gives a whole different look. It’s a lot more pride for us to have a cleaner station,” said Molbert. “On top of that, it’s a lot more resistant for the water and oil from the trucks so the maintenance is a lot easier as well.”
According to its website, “Heroes Defense provides support, resources, and aid to those individuals fighting for our freedoms and the American way of life. Heroes Defense, organized by Paul Davis and Qal-Tek Associates, stands to defend our nation’s heroes and ensure their bravery is both recognized and rewarded.”

The $10,000 check. | Andrea Olson,
The post Local firefighters receive piece of 9/11 history and donation from nonprofit organization appeared first on East Idaho News.

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