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Summary

In August 2005, the New York City Fire Department released approximately 23 hours of radio dispatch audio recordings from the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. This came after The New York Times, along with eight 9/11 families, sued to win public dissemination of the transmissions, as well as hundreds and hundreds of pages of transcribed oral histories.

As a public service, Audible has selected nearly three hours of key, unedited transmissions by Manhattan Fire Radio. Fire Department dispatchers and firefighters in the field are heard describing the planes hitting the World Trade Center (included in Track 1), the collapse of the first tower (Track 2), and the collapse of the second tower (Track 3). These transmissions begin around 8:46 a.m. Eastern time and end at around 10:22 a.m.

©2005 New York City Fire Department (P)2005 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about 9/11 Fire Dispatch Recordings

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Haunting, Dramatic and very emotional

Took a while to understand the accent, but once I did it was memorising and enthralling about the ‘behind the scenes’ drama that developed during the terror attack. Sad, as we knew the outcome, and many firefighters lost their lives. A true mark in history.

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Voices of 9/11 is easier follow

Just found this hard to follow compared to other recordings. Still harrowing to hear it 18 years on

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Great listen

This was interesting but harrowing. A well put together document,off a terrible day in history.

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very hard listening

this is very hard listening but is worthwhile to appreciate what the brave fire fighters went through on that terrible day

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Pam
  • 25-04-07

cool under fire

What can one say? These are the Fire Dispatch recordings from 9/11. As a unique look into how the NY Fire Dispatch operated on the worst day in recent American history, it is amazing. Cool heads prevailed, and kept things going.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jennifer
  • 17-05-15

Compelling

There are very few words that can be used to describe this recording of one of the worst days in American history. It is so completely unsettling to be listening to these men be dispatched to their destiny. When you hear the firefighters desperately wanting to help and just listening to them trying to reach that terrible site all you want to do is tell them to turn around and and not continue on. Then you hear the dispatcher give out orders to these men, very brave men going to their assigned deaths, 50 people in conference room on the 104th floor, people stuck on west side of tower 2 on the 98th floor and so on. You have to cry because you're there again and you are them and the voices that you hear are from men that are long dead and the dispatcher is trying to reach his men and no voices are there to hear through the silence. You can feel the losses from a whole different perspective and it is powerful.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew
  • 23-07-06

Historic

Interesting account of Heroism, but it is difficult to understand what is being said at times due to the method of recording.

3 people found this helpful

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  • R. Moore
  • 08-11-05

Riveting

This is a very compelling listen. The transmissions are heart-wrenching, and gave me an even greater respect for the fine job these firefighters do amid chaos, confusion, and devastation.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Chris Tinker
  • 04-09-21

The Dispatcher

Amazingly stoic and utterly heartbreaking. That dispatcher kept so calm while in the midst of that storm. My heart goes out to him and to all the lost souls from 9/11

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  • Tom
  • 22-03-21

Breath Taking

Such amazing professionals. They saw the danger and ran towards it. We all owe them thank yous for the incredible job they did.

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  • Drunkenpuppy
  • 19-01-21

Tough to listen to... emotional

Been waiting to listen to this. Still difficult. 333 and still counting all of these years later

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  • Kerry McGowan
  • 17-11-20

Heroic

Every American should listen to this at least once in their life time. Gives you a whole new appreciation for what those guys went thru.

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  • Masquerade
  • 16-01-20

Difficult to hear, but still worthwhile

Because of the nature of the recordings, it can be extremely difficult to parse what someone is saying at any given time. This becomes more apparent after each tower falls, when the debris cloud and sirens and other environmental factors make human speech even more incomprehensible.

However, this is still worthwhile listening. I've scoured through 9/11 documentaries and realtime footage, and I finally heard a few things I'd never heard before on this recording. You'll be impressed at the dispatcher's ability to get the information he needs, trying to free up the channel for the most urgent messages. There's a solid chunk of time after the second tower falls when you'll hear firefighters start trying to coordinate rescue and recovery efforts.

If, like me, you want to know everything you can about this day, I'd recommend this as part of your research. But if you're less interested in the minutiae of the day, or if listening to radio static bothers you, I'd skip this.

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Profile Image for James Nance
  • James Nance
  • 26-10-19

Excellent!!

Haunting to listen to. As a EMS provider I can only imagine their thoughts that day. I was coming home when it happened then like many Americans watched all day. Excellent listen!!