'9/11 is still taking lives': Former Philadelphia cop reflects on city's first response 21 years later

It's been 21 years since the terror attacks on the World Trade Centers, but their effects are still being felt today - emotionally and physically.

Former Philadelphia Police Sgt. Greg Masi was part of the city's initial response team to New York City following the tragic events of September 11.

"Throughout the entire day we all realized we didn't know what was going to happen next," Masi said.

Masi, who is currently the chief of Philadelphia 2nd Alarmers, says an unaccounted aircraft was headed to Philadelphia from Paris. 

"Philadelphia being the birthplace of the nation, they thought that they maybe we were a potential target," he said. "Fortunately for us they did get ahold of the aircraft, and it made a safe landing."


Masi was one of several Philadelphia cops who volunteered at Ground Zero in the days following the attacks. Twenty-one years later, he is one of thousands of first responders dealing with heath issues after being exposed to harmful chemicals.

"It wasn't until a few years later where I started suffering some respiratory issues," Masi said.

The now-chief says he thought it was just part of aging until he finally got checked out by a doctor.

"The tragic thing is, we know the loss that occurred 21 years ago, but 9/11 is still taking many lives as of today," he said.