(WXYZ) - When the New York Port Authority sent out the message to all police agencies that they needed help, the Oakland County Sheriff's Department rallied immediately.
By midnight, a group of fifteen headed out in a convoy to Ground Zero. They took along with them a semi filled with supplies, including flashlights, batteries and water.
Retired Major Damon Shields tells Action News about one of the things that he remembers to this day. It was incredibly loud at Ground Zero with all of the machinery working to clear the debris. Major Shields remembers the quiet and hope when rescuers thought they might have found a survivor. "It was eerie" says Shields, "You could hear a pin drop. The silence as they shut down the cranes and machinery hoping to hear someone banging on a pipe."
The sheriff's department people worked along side rescue personnel from all over the country. They spent long hours trying to help clear debris. Even in their grief, New Yorkers showed their appreciation. Deputy John Kress tells Action News "One night we went into a restaurant, we were all dirty from working in the pit all day. People in the restaurant stood up and cheered. They realized that we were from out of town and came to help."
Sheriff Mike Bouchard believes that seeing the incredible response from police and fire personnel on 911 reminded Americans about the people who sign up to serve and protect. "We run toward danger, while everone else's first instinct is to run away." Sheriff Bouchard keeps his hard hat from Ground Zero in his office as a constant reminder. "It is important to remember what happened there and do things so it doesn't happen again."
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