Like many others, the most vivid memories of 9/11 for Maple Grove Fire Chief Scott Anderson was the television coverage of the attack and the collapse of the towers.
However, he had the added responsibility, along with many other city leaders, to decide what to do next.
As the events of 9/11 unfolded, a group of the Maple Grove city leadership took to the city's Emergency Operations Center to talk about what actions the city might take to improve local security and how what action might be needed if an event would happen in Maple Grove, according to Anderson.
“In the following days when air traffic was suspended, I recall sitting in my office and through the window watching a military F-16 fighter plane swooping through the skies of Maple Grove as someone attempted to take off in a float plane from one of our lakes,” he said. “The sight of a fighter plane flying at tree top altitude is something that I’ll never forget.”
In the time following the 9/11 attacks, the requested and has received a piece of steel from the World Trade Towers. The eventual plan, according to Anderson, is to incorporate it into the fire department memorial at Fire Station #2.
“This piece of steel is too small to put outside on display, probably best suited for inside a glass display case somewhere,” Anderson said. “So, we are still considering what to do with it.”
The last 10 years have brought with it not only memories and metal to Maple Grove, but changes in training and equipment to the Maple Grove Fire Department. According to Anderson, 9/11 lead to “better emergency planning efforts for the country that has been passed down to the states and cities,” such as more training and grant availability to improve emergency response capabilities for cities like Maple Grove. Some specific things received have been two-way radios, protective equipment, and a mobile incident command vehicle.
On this 10th anniversary of 9/11, Anderson urges people to remember the attack on the country and all the people who died.
“Far too much attention is placed on the fire service concerning 9/11 and we need to quit doing that and recognize the toll that it took on the families of the all victims and how it affected all the rest of us,” he said.
As 9/11 memorial events happen throughout the Twin Cities, Anderson said he encourages people to “attend these events to honor those that died, the survivors, and to reflect on how this event has transformed our day to day life over the past ten years.”