- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 18, 2001

Rescue crews from Fairfax and Montgomery counties finished their search for survivors in the wreckage in the Pentagon yesterday, finding only twisted metal, scattered office supplies and the remains of 188 persons who died in last Tuesday's terrorist attack.

John Huff, a deputy fire chief from Lincoln, Neb., and the team leader for the four Federal Emergency Management Agency's Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces assigned to the Pentagon, said the two teams' technical skills are no longer needed now that so much of the debris has been cleared and the collapsed part of the building shored up.

"Their days are very, very long," Chief Huff said, noting that rescue teams are typically mobilized for seven days.

A team from Albuquerque, N.M., has come in to replace one of the 70-member teams, Chief Huff said. Another may be assigned later, while the crews from Virginia Beach and Memphis, Tenn., remain.

FEMA crews will likely be on the scene until Sept. 25, fire officials have said, and the FBI could be on site for as long as four months.

Despite the long days and grisly work, the Fairfax and Montgomery teams were finding it difficult to leave the tent city they have called home for the last week

"It's tough to walk away," Montgomery County Fire Department Assistant Chief Tom Carr said.

Both Chief Carr and many other rescuers like Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Technician Don Booth said they are "emotionally attached" to the scene.

Fairfax County Lt. Mark D. Stone said his group could be ready to go again if needed and its members are willing to go without the three days of rest each plans on getting, especially if they get a call to go to New York City to help with efforts there. More than 300 firefighters were lost in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

FEMA has 27 teams from around the country it can mobilize; 12 already are working in New York and four at the Pentagon.

Also yesterday, Arlington County police released a tape recording of the first call placed to dispatchers after the hijacked jetliner slammed into the west side of the Pentagon.

Dispatcher Kyra Pulliam was remarkably calm in leading the officers to the places they needed to go. But Ms. Pulliam said some officers went on their own, without being dispatched, to close roads and help out.

The end of the two-minute tape has an officer who just arrived at the scene saying, "It's a lot. It's bad."

There are 124 persons from the Pentagon who were either killed or remain unaccounted for. All 58 passengers, four crew members and two pilots aboard American Airlines Flight 77 died in the crash at 9:40 a.m. a week ago today.

The Pentagon confirmed nine more military and civilian personnel were killed in the attack. The remains of 97 persons were taken from the attack site to Delaware's Dover Air Force Base for identification, and the identities of 11 have been released so far.

Those from the Army confirmed dead yesterday were: Ada L. Mason, civilian, 50, of Springfield; Diana B. Padro, civilian, 55, Woodbridge; Edward V. Rowenhorst, civilian, 32, Fredericksburg, Va.; Scott Powell, contractor, BTG Inc.

From the Navy the following persons were confirmed dead: Capt. Gerald Francis Deconto, 44, Sandwich, Mass.; Cmdr. Patrick Dunn, 39, Fords, N.J.; Aerographer's Mate 2nd. Class Matthew Michael Flocco, 21, Newark, Del.; Lt. Jonas Martin Panik, 26, Mingoville, Pa.; and Lt. Cmdr. Otis Vincent Tolbert, 38, Lemoore, Calif.

The FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Army investigators have been searching through the debris as it's removed and placed in front of the attack site.

The smaller debris taken to large white tents in the Pentagon's north parking lot sends chills down some of those investigators spines.

"A little girl's baby doll was in there," said one government official who asked not be identified. Pictures, coffee mugs, and even a set of charred handcuffs were found.

Rescuers eating in a makeshift mess hall in the Pentagon's south parking lot are finding comfort in the shows of support that have been streaming in.

About 500 families of killed Pentagon personnel came to pay their respects over the weekend, leaving mementos and photos on a stage in the parking area, where a white banner with red-and-blue handprints of children stamped in the red and blue hangs reading, "Pray for America."

Thousands of cards and letters have been delivered by the American Red Cross.

"Just the innocence of the children; they shouldn't have to be introduced to any of this at this age," Memphis Fire Department Firefighter Steven Walls, 44, said as he looked through a card written by a little boy named Ian. "Now they're aware of the cruelties of the world and it's sad, really."

The handmade card, crafted with construction paper and crayons, says: "I know that one of the reasons that you keep working is because you know that somewhere in America, a little boy or girl is counting on you to rescue their parents and I know you will."

Mr. Walls said, "It kind of sparks up your day after a day of things not going so well it kind of brings a tear to your eye, but it makes you smile."

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