Richard Fern decided to evacuate from the 84th floor of the South Tower after witnessing people falling from the North Tower. Moments later, hijacked Flight 175 struck the building. Though impeded at times by debris, he quickly made his way down the stairs. During his descent, Fern turned on his two-way radio used for communications between Euro Brokers employees. He heard his coworker David Vera
describing the smoky conditions to their security colleague Jerry Banks who was outside the building. Vera asked Banks to send help. After the collapse of the South Tower, Fern again listened to his radio, this time only hearing Banks trying to contact Vera without success.