Firefighter academy students remember 9/11


Courtesy Holly Nelson

SRJC firefighter trainees stand at attention during the reading of the names of fallen firefighters on Sunday Sept. 11.

Grant Wetmore, Staff writer

On the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, firefighters-in-training at SRJC’s Public Safety Training Center in Windsor held a commemoration for the 343 firefighters who lost their lives that day.

The ceremony started with a color guard raising the American flag, then lowering it to half-mast. Instructor Nicholas Bry gave a short speech before the class took turns reading the names of the fallen heroes. The reading of names took nearly an hour.

“Every one of these names is a person,” says Dan Pforsich, a firefighter trainee and one of the four color guards who led the flag ceremony. “It’s a lot of names. Really makes you think. Made me think about how many guys walked up to the Twin Towers as things were going on and went ‘This is it. This is it for me.’”

Pforsich, along with Alden Polciny, Jacob Vedder and Buck Minitch, were chosen to be color guards due to their prior service in the U.S. Armed Forces.

“The service, it transfers,” says Polciny on his decision to become a firefighter. “I wanted to serve my community in a way that gave back. There’s a brotherhood to it.”

Polciny, Pforsich, Minitch and Vedder will be among the 40 students who graduate this January. Once they are certified, they may contribute to the noble profession of firefighting anywhere in the U.S