Nevada Division of Forestry Battalion Chief Tom Turk has been sent to New York City to assist the Federal Emergency Management Administration in assisting families of public safety officers killed in the line of duty in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
Turk, who serves as NDF's Elko County battalion chief, will work 12-hour shifts in the emergency operations center in Manhattan near the World Trade Center site under a unified command structure which includes representatives of FEMA, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and public safety unions representing police and fire employees.
He will assist families of those killed in the attack with next of kin notifications, grief counseling, arranging for funeral services, notification of co-workers and in filling out reports and forms.
An estimated 300 firefighters and 100 police officers were killed in the attack. Rescue and recovery efforts continue on site with the hope survivors may be found in the rubble of the buildings.
State Forester Steve Robinson called Turk "one of Nevada's finest," and said Turk is "representing Gov. Kenny Guinn, the state of Nevada and especially the firefighters of Nevada with this overwhelming effort to provide comfort and assistance to the families of the firefighters and police officers killed in the attack."
Turk, who has never been east of the Mississippi River, was deployed on a seven-day assignment, but Robinson said that could be extended. He flew into New York's LaGuardia Airport where he was to be met by officials of the New York Fire Department.
So far, more than $60,000 has been raised by Nevada Division of Forestry employees to assist families of the firefighters killed in the World Trade Center attack. Donations can be made by sending checks made out to the FDNY/NDF Benevolent Fund to the Nevada Division of Forestry, 885 Eastlake Boulevard, Carson City, Nev., 89704.