NewsCitrus, Hernando County


9/11 FDNY dispatcher still coping with pain after 17 years

Posted at 6:24 PM, Sep 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-11 18:24:55-04

SPRING HILL, Fla. — It’s been 17 years since America was attacked on 9/11 but people who were there that day and after are still dealing with the effects.

FDNY dispatch sound from Lower Manhattan on the morning of 9/11 after two planes hit the twin towers:

"All companies operating at the number one and number two trade centers at the fifth alarm, do not use the elevators. They are about to go down."

Even after 17 years dispatcher John Lightsey has one emotion while listening to himself that day.

"Nervous,…yeah...I don't like it," said Lightsey.

Lightsey was one of the only radio dispatchers coordinating fire trucks to world trade centers one and two after planes hit them.

"When the towers came down, it was dead silence. And that was an eerie feeling not to hear anyone talk," said Lightsey. 

Though awarded for his work that helped save countless lives, he still lives with a lot of pain.

"When it gets close to the anniversary I can remember the voices on the radio, or people crying for help," said Lightsey.

Next to New York, Florida has one of the second highest numbers of 9/11 survivors dealing with long-term health issues.

"I have GERD, acid reflux, lung problems, PTSD, and more problems that keep arising," said Lightsey. 

World Trade Center Health Program is a resource helping thousands of people like Lightsey get the help they need; along with quality time with his firefighter brothers.

"You know everybody one way or another has been through this so you can always talk to somebody if you need to."

For more information on the  World Trade Center Health Program, click here.