Brian Smith, an FDNY Battalion 31 Emergency Medical Specialist, was finishing a shift at his unit’s firehouse in Brooklyn on the morning of 9/11. As he left the station, he witnessed hijacked Flight 11 hit the North Tower. Smith deployed to the site, where he helped establish a triage center at a firehouse located on Liberty Street, one block south of the World Trade Center. While gathering supplies nearby, Smith heard the South Tower buckling. He raced back to the firehouse and was thrown in the air as the tower collapsed. Smith recovered and turned to help the injured. When the North Tower fell, he was forced to interrupt his rescue efforts and shelter in the firehouse.
Later in the day, after surviving both collapses, Smith was admitted to a Brooklyn hospital for multiple injuries. He was identified with a triage tag describing his condition. After being discharged from the hospital, Smith learned that his father, FDNY Hazmat Company 1 Firefighter Kevin Joseph Smith
, had died while responding to the emergency.