Firefighters, cops, rescuers visit kids at Ready Springs |

Firefighters, cops, rescuers visit kids at Ready Springs

The Ready Springs School gym was ablaze with color – students and teachers dressed in red, white and blue – at Wednesday’s patriotic assembly.

“We want to recognize Sept. 11 and show due respect for that tragedy,” said principal and superintendent Merrill Grant. “We also want to celebrate the ideals of what makes our nation strong.”

Teamwork is the school’s character trait focus for August and September, Grant reminded students. Representatives from law enforcement, fire protection and Red Cross agencies discussed the importance of the trait.

Within two hours of the World Trade Center attack, 400 disaster workers were onsite, said John Zwerver, executive director of the western Nevada County chapter of the American Red Cross. Over the following months, 55,000 Red Cross workers assisted victims’ families, rescue workers and construction crews.

Once aircraft started flying again after the attacks, “people from the Red Cross in our community flew to Ground Zero to help,” he said.

He acknowledged the efforts of fire departments and law enforcement. “We couldn’t do our job if they didn’t do their jobs,” said Zwerver, adding that preparation is an important part of teamwork.

“When we come to an emergency, we all know what everyone’s jobs are,” said Deputy Rob Davenport of the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office.

Through proper training and by having faith and trust in each other, firefighters are able to handle emergencies, said Capt. Joe Ten Eyck of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Ten Eyck told students that last Sept. 11, he was fighting a wildlands fire in Southern California when he heard of the attacks. Because his parents were visiting New York City, he said, “The hardest thing was to put that aside and take care of the job that I had and deal with the fire emergency.”

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