On Sept. 11th, a total of 343 New York City firefighters perished at the World Trade Center. In a new book, titled "Last Man Down," one firefighter who survived after being trapped under rubble for more than four hours describes his experience that day. Richard Picciotto, a New York City Fire Department Battalion Commander, visited The Saturday Early Show.
On the morning of Sept. 11, Commander Picciotto, who is known by his nickname "Pitch", was at his firehouse on West 100th Street when the first plane hit the World Trade Center.
He rushed to the North Tower where ironically, in 1993, he played a central role in the North Tower evacuation after it was bombed. So he knew the building inside and out. Now he was back, replaying the same rescue operation he performed years earlier.
In his just-released book, "Last Man Down," to which Daniel Paisner was a contributor, Picciotto recalls that on 9/11, he led an evacuation of fire and rescue workers and rescued a group of about 50 disabled people. During his rescue efforts, the North Tower collapsed around him and those he'd rescued. That's when he became trapped in the rubble.
In the first pages of the book, he writes: "'Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his fellowman,' goes the proverb invoked at countless firefighter funerals and memorials, a tribute that has always echoed in the hall of New York City firehouses through the solemn ringing of those solemn bells. And so this book is dedicated to the firefighters who gave their lives on that tragic day."