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Terry Shaffer, Former Shanksville Fire Chief Who Responded On 9/11, Needs New Heart

SOMERSET COUNTY (KDKA) -- The Tower of Voices remembers the 40 lives lost after terrorists hijacked and crashed Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001.

It welcomes visitors to the Flight 93 Memorial; a site Terry Shaffer advocated for.

"It's about these people who lost their lives," his daughter, Rebecca Kuzar, said.

The former chief of the Shanksville Volunteer Fire Department was one of the first people to respond after the plane went down on that tragic day.

"I'm sure he didn't ever expect a call like that. Never of us ever did," firefighter Brad Shober said.

As federal agencies moved in, Shaffer and his firefighters worked to collect evidence and other supportive roles in the investigation.

"He was just trying to do his part. He doesn't really talk about it a lot because he gets so emotional," Kuzar said.

Terry continued serving as the chief until a couple of years ago. His doctors said he should stop due to health concerns.

"There is nobody that puts more time into this fire station or cares more about this fire station over the last 25 years than Terry Shaffer," Shober said.

That's hasn't stopped Shaffer from being the heart of Shanksville. He currently serves as the fire department's president.

"He is always thinking and doing for others," Kuzar said about her father.

Now, Terry is bouncing in and out of the hospital because of heart problems.

"You feel kind of helpless from that aspect. That's a wait and see until that moment comes along," Shober said.

Terry was out on the transplant list in November. His doctors said this is the only way to help his heart problems. Family and friends are raising money to cover what insurance won't.

"He's so limited in what he can do," Kuzar said. "It's heartbreaking to see that. Difficult to watch someone you love so much be so sick."

"The whistle blows, our pager goes off and we go to help somebody. That's what we're by our nature and that's how things go," Shober said over his former chief. "At this point, the whistle is blowing for the community to step up and help out Terry."

If you would like to help, here are the three ways you can:

  • Donate to the Heart4Terry Campaign online.
  • Mail a check to:
    • National Foundation for Transplants
3249 W. Sarazen's Circle, Suite 100
Memphis, TN 38125
Please be sure to write "in honor of Terry Shaffer" in the memo line.
  • Text to Give
    • Text terryshaffer to 844-844-6844
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