Firefighters reflect on Sept. 11

ST. MARYS — Firefighting was in the blood for St. Marys Firefighters/Paramedics Nick Scott and Doug Beougher.

The two were hired to the St. Marys Fire Department in October 2006, and both had family members who also served as first responders. Scott’s father was a firefighter, while Beougher’s grandfather, father, uncle and brother are all firemen.

“We both come from firefighting families,” Scott said.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Scott was a junior in high school. Scott can still recall where he was when he was told about the attacks.

“I was in second period algebra,” Scott said, noting the teacher turned on the TV.

Scott said he had a typical reaction to what he saw — that of shock and disbelief of what was happening.

“I had the typical — What’s going on? We’ve been attacked response,” he said.

Beougher was working at a factory when the first plane struck the World Trade Center. At the time, Beougher was in fire and paramedic school to earn his license. The day, he said, was full of confusion.

“There was a lot of confusion at the time because we didn’t really know what was happening,” Beougher said of the constantly changing TV broadcast.

Although neither had joined a fire department in 2001, Scott and Beougher said the attacks did not effect their desire to become a firefighter. Both knew it was something they wanted to do. Beougher noted that what firefighters in New York City experience is vastly different from St. Marys.

“We’re a small town fire department,” Beougher said. “They’re a big city, and they do strictly fire. Here in St. Marys, we do fire and EMS.”

With the approaching tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks, Scott noted that time has passed quickly.

“I can’t believe it’s been 10 years already,” he said.

Beougher said the best thing to take from the attacks is to remember to be prepared.

“Be prepared for anything that could happen,” Beougher said. “Be prepared for the worst. Training is important.”

Scott said that remembering and moving on from the event is part of the job.

“You remember what happened, and with our job, you kind of just have to carry on,” he said.