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Court Order: FDNY To Release 9/11 Response Information
CBS 2 - New York News - Thursday, March 24, 2005
Communications Could Soon Be Made Public
The New York City Fire Department has just been ordered to release information about how it responded on September 11th.
There were thousands of calls made to the city's 911 emergency system on September 11th. Now those audiotapes, along with internal interviews and dispatch communications could soon be made public.
"I would give anything to be able to hear my brothers voice from that day," says Rosaleen Tallon, relative of firefighter that died on 9/11.
And now Tallon may finally get that chance. Thursday NY state's highest court ruled the city fire department must release audiotapes to families of the victims of the Sept. 11th attacks. Rosaleen's brother Sean was a firefighter who died at World Trade Center.
"This is a significant win for the 911 families and for the public to know the truth of what happened that horrific day," says Siegel.
Three years ago, as part of the investigation into what went wrong, the Port Authority made some radio communications public.
Thursday's court decision will make even more information public. And will also allow for the release of firefighters internal interviews made after the attacks, unless the court said, the statements would cause pain or embarrassment.
The ruling also provided for the release of intra-agency communications, involving 911 dispatches and would also force the FDNY to disclose calls made to 911 emergency services as long as the family members or survivors agree.
No one from the city would talk but in a statement said: "We are pleased that the court has recognized the importance of maintaining the confidentially of the intensely emotional statements made under the most tragic circumstances imaginable," from the NYC Law Department.
People like Sally Regenhard lost her son on September 11th and like Rosaleen Tallon believes more could have been done to prevent so many people from losing their lives.
"We can only hope that the truth will finally come out and that's all we want," says Regenhard.
This case is far from over. Norman Seigal says he will now organize what he calls "Project 911," and plans to contact survivors and families of the victims to let them know what their rights are and when they may be able to listen to the tapes.
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