“Field Trip to Hell”: A Survivor’s Story

Issue 9 and Volume 155.

By David Handschuh For more than two decades, I have had the privilege of covering New York’s Bravest as a photographer for the New York Daily News and as FDNY’s first honorary photographer since 1985. I have witnessed and photographed many heroic life-saving efforts over the past years, but I never once thought that the people I so often photographed saving lives would, in turn, save my life. On the morning of September 11, I was driving downtown, sitting in bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic. Around 14th Street, I looked up to see a massive column of smoke coming from lower Manhattan. Then the voices from Manhattan Fire on my fire scanner started screaming to send every piece of available apparatus to the World Trade Center. I thought that some knucklehead pilot flew his Cessna or Piper Cub into the building. As FDNY Rescue 1 rushed southbound in the northbound lane,…

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