New York, NY-Fire companies are now allowed to escort the remains of fallen firefighters from Ground Zero at the World Trade Center (WTC) site. The department had banned the practice, saying that the trips to the collapse site left fire stations unattended and might cause problems if remains were misidentified. The ban upset firefighters and families of the missing, who consider the escorts a tribute to those they lost.
The department lifted the ban but put in place the following policy. Now, fire companies can go to the site if they have notified a supervisor and a dispatcher; companies will be dispatched to cover those stations should an emergency arise in those calling areas.
Also, firefighters will not identify the remains. The medical examiner will make the identification before the remains are removed from the site; the fire companies will be called to the site after the identification has been made.