NYPD’er Jimmy Rudolph: 9/11 Stories


“There are certain sounds and smells in your life that you never forget. The sound I’m never gonna forget is the firefighters. When they’re wearing their oxygen tanks and they don’t move for ten, fifteen, twenty seconds, it chirps. We went back in and all you heard was chirping. Chirp...chirp ...chirp.” These words are part of former NYPD Detective Jimmy Rudolph’s 9/11 Story.

That sound, that chirp, after the collapse of the first tower, remains the most vivid memory from 9/11 for Jimmy Rudolph, who was then an NYPD patrolman at Transit District 2 in Lower Manhattan. 9/11 was the second time he responded to terrorism at the World Trade Center. As one of the first responders to the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, when a truck bomb killed 6 people, Jimmy helped save the life of a New York City firefighter, who had fallen through the floor into the garage. That firefighter was lucky to survive, and Rudolph was awarded one of the NYPD’s highest honors, the Medal of Valor, for his life-saving efforts.

8 years later, Jimmy Rudolph was part of what he called “probably the best rescue ever between the fire and the police department. A lot of people made it out of that building and survived because of our rescue efforts”.