9/11 first responder: 'Pain is still fresh 12 years later'

Updated:

Loading

ORLANDO, Fla. - Residents across central Florida marked the anniversary of Sept. 11, remembering those who died and honoring the heroes who saved so many lives, including one paramedic who now works in central Florida.

One that day, Jason Marquez was a paramedic who rushed to what is now known as Ground Zero.

Marquez used a snapshot from a photo book that shows his brother in the top left corner and him in the bottom right to illustrate his remembrance of the attack on the United States that stole innocent lives in New York City, at the Pentagon and in a field in Pennsylvania.

"The pain is still fresh 12 years later," Marquez said.

Both brothers worked in New York City as first responders. Both were on duty, and both rushed to the scene.

"I do remember the screaming, the yelling distinctively. I also remember the smell," Marquez said.

In the chaos, the brothers instantly became separated.

"I didn't know where he was when the buildings came down," Marquez said.

Marquez searched but kept helping the hundreds of strangers who depended on him.

He found his brother 24 hours later and learned then that they had both stayed to help others make it out alive.

Marquez was there Wednesday at Lake Technical Center's fire academy to honor the 343 fallen first responders who died serving their country.

"They read the names," Marquez said.

"We clocked in not knowing if we were ever going to clock out, and some people still haven't clocked out," Marquez said.

Marquez owns a school in Orlando called First Responder Training, where he teaches other first responders for what they too may see one day.