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Updated: Jan 17, 2022

In our office on an easel sits a photograph of the Double Check given to us by a family friend. The image serves as our daily reminder of the sacrifices made by first responders and civilians on September 11, 2001. In his arms and open briefcase, the Double Check holds an American flag and flowers placed there in remembrance of 9/11. He is adorned with a first responders helmet on this head, an American flag taped to his back, fire department patches on his jacket, and helmets and firehose at his feet.

The significance of the statue goes beyond just its use as a post-9/11 memorial. The Double Check is said to be the only piece of artwork to have survived the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center. Prior to September 11th, the Double Check, a life-size bronze statue of a businessman looking through his briefcase, sat peacefully in Liberty Plaza Park across the street from the World Trade Center. After the Towers collapsed, the Double Check sat on the ground knocked loose from its mounts amongst the debris and covered in dust. The statue's appearance was so life-like that rescue workers approached him to offer assistance.

In 2004, Stuart Miller with the New York Times wrote about the Double Check, stating that it was "a fitting metaphor for the city: though the sculpture had been knocked loose from its moorings, it had endured." Twenty years later, we continue to remember the lasting impact that 9/11 has had on our first responders, civilians, and our country. We have re-built, we have learned, but we will never forget.

©2020 by FireTox

In June, FireTox started researching the impact of medications on fall & fire risks in the older adult population. The project is funded by the Fire Protection Research Foundation in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security. Our research hypothesis states that certain medications and polypharmacy can increase the risk of falls and fires in older adults. We are testing this hypothesis by reviewing the literature on medication use and falls and fires, performing a healthcare landscape assessment and reviewing case studies on medication use and fall and fire incidents. A survey of current community risk reduction programs will also be performed to determine their impact on fire and fall risks in the older adult population. This work will help to support the NFPA Remembering When program. We are thrilled to be working on this important project which will improve community risk reduction programs for older adults. The results of this research are expected to be published in November 2021.

We are excited to welcome Zelda Zhao to the FireTox team. Ms. Zhao is a junior in the fire protection engineering program at the University of Maryland, College Park. She has experience in life safety analysis and egress modeling. Ms. Zhao will be working at FireTox to gain additional expertise in fire safety research and fire investigation. FireTox is delighted to continue to offer hands-on learning opportunities to talented fire protection engineering students such as Ms. Zhao. To learn more about our FPE Internship Program, email

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