Photos courtesy of the Connetquot Central School District
Connetquot Central School District sixth grade students enrolled at Ronkonkoma
Middle School received a firsthand account of what occurred at the World Trade Center buildings on Sept. 11 from retired New York City firefighter and Sept. 11 first responder Tom Prin. Mr. Prin is the husband of Ronkonkoma Middle School social studies teacher Tiffany Prin.
Mr. Prin described the chilling situation as he arrived at the lobby of the North Tower, just before the South Tower collapsed, and how he removed panicked individuals from the staircases as they tried to exit the building. He described the complete whiteout that occurred after the South Tower collapsed and how it was necessary to continue working without being able to see. He also explained how he narrowly escaped the collapse of the North Tower by diving under parked cars. Continuing to work for four months in rescue and recovery, Mr. Prin revealed that not being able to find the 1,100 individuals who are still missing today is what affects him most.
In addition to his account of Sept. 11, Mr. Prin passed around his helmet and work
vest, as well as items he acquired from the Center, which included a piece of metal from a beam, the cover for an identification badge and, ironically, a fire inspection report. He also explained the importance of everyone being a hero by doing the right thing when no one is watching.
Ronkonkoma Middle School student Devin Desiano looked at the helmet worn by retired firefighter Tom Prin during the Sept. 11 attack as Lily Schropfer looked on.