Joe Torrillo - The 9/11 Firefighter Who Never Gave Up | Inspirational Speech Video | Goalcast
✪There is a choice, an instant that defines a hero. Meet Joe Torrillo and his incredible story of how he was buried alive twice on 9/11. Joe Torrillo, now retired FDNY Lieutenant shares his amazing story and a life lesson on resilience.
I was declared dead for three days when the South Tower came down I was right underneath it and I realized I had about seconds seconds left to live slightly more than twelve years ago on September 11 2001 it was a day that it seemed the world Stood Still for full day in all 198 countries of Earth an incredible plane crash into the World Trade Center we have serious news of a major possible air crash in the United States and I was in the middle bit in New York City my firehouse was right of course the street where I began my career in 1980 I was under the second jet it came right over my head when United Airlines flight 175 struck the South Tower seventeen minutes after the North Tower I was declared dead for three days when the South Tower came down I was right underneath it and I realized I had about seven seconds left to live and all I was afraid of was that my body would never be found of identified and I started running but I never made it the South Tower came down all my ribs are broken my arm was snapped in half my shoulders were torn off my Baptist crush and I was bleeding internally and I'm buried underneath the South Tower with all these other people there was screaming at the top of their lungs we couldn't see each other wall pinned on the steel and concrete and we were suffocating and I begged God to take my life I couldn't live in this pain and a few minutes later we were all in the middle of all these fires and then the screams of those people turned into cries Chrysler and into whimpers and whip has turned into silence and one by one they had all died I'll never know them we couldn't see each other and I was still breathing and then at that point people came and they were digging and they found me and they got me on a boat and on the boat that would intend to take me across the river to New Jersey to a hospital because I had to get there immediately if they were gonna save me and then half hour later the North Tower fell and it fell on top of the boat and I got buried in the engine room of the boat all alone and once again I'm suffocating I can't breathe and I'm in tremendous pain for almost an hour until they found me again buried in the engine room and then the boat was taken to force the river to a hospital in New Jersey but nobody thought about looking in hospitals in other states and that's where I ended up in New Jersey a hospital called Jersey City trauma center and for three days I was declared missing because I was misidentified you see boys and girls this all leads up to the most interesting part of the story you see boys and girls I started my career in the firehouse across the street from the World Trade Center Engine Company ten I started my career there in 1981 that firehouse opened and I stood there for 16 years until I was promoted to lieutenant on September 5th 1996 they asked me to work in their office of fire safety education and boys and girls eight months into that assignment I was named the director of the whole program and then at that point they get a call from fisher-price toys I'm thinking they got a wrong phone number what do you want this is we want to run something by you might be interested in well what is it they wanted a New York City firefighter to beat a new rescue hero and as I was telling them what a firefighter looks like with his bunker gear his chooses equipment his air mask and they want to have a big press conference in New York City they want to introduce this new rescue hero well they were so excited this is when can we do it and I'm brainstorming in the meeting I said you know nine-one-one is the emergency phone number in New York City why don't we have a nine one one day in New York this was the new rescue hero being introduced on September 11 2001 at 9 o'clock in the morning when the first jet struck the tower on my way to the press conference I saw the tower fully engulfed with flames and I had to make a big decision what do i do so I go to the press conference for Billy blazes which didn't happen anyway where do I make my way to my old firehouse across the street from the Twin Towers and that's what I did boys and girls I didn't have to be there that day I was in a dress uniform I took my uniform off and borrowed a set of firefighting gear and in that rescue effort I was buried and by the time the Sun went down on the evening of September 11 2001 344 firefighters were declared dead three days later one was found alive in another state in a hospital in an operating room and that was me and boys and girls Billy blazes would come to represent those 343 heroes that I worked with who made the supreme sacrifice of life let this day ignite you more than anything could ever ignite you Billy blazes a New York City firefighter rescue hero is the only rescue hero that represents real people and that's not me it was the other 343 firefighters who I get the honor of telling their story and the model of the story as you're gonna see life changes life takes you down roads you didn't know we're meant for you life takes you down roads at all for challenges and changes all of us in so many different ways and that's why boys and girls all to life you got to be resilient like a palm tree it's important to keep your eyes open in your hearts open just see if we can help some people out it's nine truck one of the first to come from destroyed [Music] you