September 11th FDNY Radio Transcripts

FDNY Radio Channel 30 Transcripts from the September 11th Attacks

In November 2002, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey turned over audio recordings to the New York Times, of dialogue between firefighters while ascending the burning World Trade Center. The 1hr, 13 minute audiorecording is just one of dozens of radio channels used, and also includes discussion of unrelated 911 emergency calls during that time, which are not included in this transcript. The reel-to-reel recording was found in the rubble of WTC 5, three weeks after the collapse. It was withheld from the public for a year, under claims it could be used as evidence against Zacarias Moussaoui. All times listed are approximate, judged by the Times, although they do not always chronologically fit the audiorecording.

September 11th attacks
Flight 93 Cockpit Transcript
Flight 93 Transcript with air control
FDNY Radio Transcripts
9-1-1 calls from inside the towers
Search warrant for Atta's rental car
9/11 Commission Report
Office of Special Counsel release
Speaker 9:25am
unidentified Battalion 7, (illegible text) commander of Tower 2 (illegible text) South Tower
unidentified Yo, Battalion's in Tower 2
unidentified 59-15?
unidentified 59-15?
unidentified Yes, I...
Lad.15 Go ahead, Irons
Lad.15 Irons Just got a report from the director of Morgan Stanley. Seventy-eight seems to have taken the brunt of this stuff, there's a lot of bodies, they say the stairway is clear all the way up, though.
Lad.15 Alright, ten-four Scott. What, what floor are you on?
Lad.15 Irons Forty-eight right now.
Lad.15 Alright, we're coming up behind you.


Speaker 9:31am
Bat.7 Aide Battalion Seven, you want me to relay?
Lad.15 Yeah, Steve tell Chief Palmer they got reports that there's more planes in the area, we may have to back down here.
Bat.7 Aide Ten-four
Bat.7 Alpha Seven Alpha to Seven?
Bat.7 Steve, Seven to Seven Alpha.
Lad.15 Fifteen to Fifteen Roof?
Lad.15 Roof Fifteen Roof.
Lad.15 We got reports of another incoming plane. We may have to take cover. Stay in the stairwell.
Lad.15 Roof Ten-four
Lad.15 Fifteen to 15 Roof. That plane's ours. I repeat. It's ours. What floor are you on, Scotty?"
Lad.15 Roof Fifty-four.
Lad.15 Alright. Keep making your way up. We're behind you.
Lad.15 Roof Ten-Four

(20:54 on tape)Edit

Speaker ****
Bat.1 Battalion 1 to Battalion 7?
Bat.1 Battalion 1 to Battalion 7?
Bat.7 Battalion 7 to Battalion 1, how do you read me?
Bat.1 Battalion 1 to Battalion 7?
Bat.7 Battalion 7 to Battalion 1, how do you read me?
Bat.1 Battalion 1 to Battalion 7?
Bat.7 Battalion 7 to Battalion 1, how do you read me?
unidentified (illegible text) Bravo, to 1?
Bat.1 Battalion 1 to Battalion 7?
unidentified Bravo, to 7?
unidentified Sir, there's a problem with Battalion 7
unidentified I'm down in the lobby, I can read you
Bat.1 Uhh, Battalion 1 (illegible text) check (illegible text)
Bat.1 Battalion 1 to Battalion 7, I don't think we have uh, the repeater. I can pick you up on my radio, but not on the hardwire.[1]
unidentified Alright, (illegible text) go to channel (illegible text)
unidentified No, we're going to have to use the uh, the (illegible text) repeater. You said you have your, your repeater on?
unidentified (illegible text) in the lobby of Tower 2.
unidentified Okay, we're going to need something in this Tower 1 here.
unidentified Okay,I got the repeater on, and it...voice is electronically scrambled beyond recognition
unidentified (illegible text) your radio, okay?
Bat.7 Battalion 7 to Battalion 1?
Bat.1 Battalion 1 to Battalion 7, we'll use uh, we'll use channel 2 and uh, and this building has a command set up for the chief.
unidentified (illegible text) Tower 1 with the tactical?
unidentified (illegible text)...stay on the command channel 2

(31:46 on tape)Edit

Speaker ****
unidentified AP, did you get that? I need a unintelligible two words over at Tower 2
unidentified Hey chief, what type of call is this?

Uh listen, I tried to get the --- to come in on Church and Liberty[2]

Bat.7 Battalion 7 to Battalion 7 Alpha?
Bat.7 Alpha Alpha
Bat.7 Alright, we're sending the elevator down for ya
unidentified unintelligible word
Bat.7 This is Battalion 7, to lobby command post Tower 2?
Lobby Command Post Tower 2 (illegible text)
Bat.7 This is the 7 in the South Tower, to lobby command post Tower 2?
unidentified Not picking you up.
unidentified Who's got the, uh, lobby command post at Tower 2?
Bat.7 This is Battalion 7 on floor 40 of Tower 2, we got one elevator working up to the 40th floor, staffed by a member of ladder 1-510.
unidentified Alright, but I (illegible text), there are no units here yet.
unidentified Alright, we're just starting them up, Ten-four.
unidentified (illegible text)


Speaker 9:37am (54:11 on tape)
Lad.15 Lt. 1-5 to 1-5-OV?
Lad.15 Firefighter 1-5-OV.
Lad.15 Lt. Tommy, listen carefully. I'm sending all the injured down to you on 40. You're gonna have to get'em down to the uh, to the elevator. There's about 10 to 15 people coming down to you.
Lad.15 Firefighter Okay.
Lad.15 Lieutenant Ten civilians coming down. 1-5 to OV.
Lad.15 Firefighter Got that, I'm on 40 right now, Lieu


Speaker 9:39am
Lad.15 Lieutenant Alright Tommy, when you take people down to the lobby, try to get an EMS crew back.
Lad.15 Firefighter Definitely.

51:43 on tapeEdit

Speaker (51:43 on tape)
Haz-Mat Unit 1 Haz-Mat 1 to Battalion 7?
Bat.7 Battalion 7 responding
unidentified Battalion 7...'unintelligible, cut off by static


Speaker 9:43am (54:40 on tape)
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer Battalion Seven to Ladder 1-5 Roof? Battalion Seven to Ladder 1-5 Roof? What is your progress?
Lad.15 Roof Sixty-three, battalion.
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer Ten-four
Bat.9 Chief Battalion Nine to Battalion Seven?
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer Go ahead Battalion Nine.
Bat.9 Chief Orio, I couldn't find a bank to bring you up any higher. I'm on the 40th floor, what can I do for you?
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer We're going to have to hoof it. I'm on 69 now, but we need a higher bank,'kay?
Bat.9 Chief What stairway you in Orio?
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer The center of the building, boy, boy
Unidentified Tac One to Tac One Alpha?
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer Battalion Seven to Ladder 15 Roof, what floor?
Bat.9 Chief Battalion Nine to Battalion Seven?
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer ...Battalion Nine.
Bat.9 Chief Orio, I'm going to try and get a couple of CFRD engines on the 40th floor so send any victims down here, I'll start up a staging area.[3]
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer ...find a fireman service elevator close to 40, if we get some more cars in that bank, we'll be alright.


Speaker 9:45am (56:21 on tape)
Haz-Mat Unit 1 Haz-Mat 1 to Battalion 7?
Bat.7 Battalion 7 to Haz-Mat 1!
Haz-Mat Unit 1 Alright, we're at (illegible text), Tower 2 on the 4-8 floor
Bat.7 Tower One say?
Haz-Mat Unit 1 Tower Two.
Bat.7 (illegible text)...say this is Tower One, south tower?

1:02:05 on tapeEdit

Speaker 1:02:05 on tape
Bat.7 Battalion 7 to Battalion 9?
Bat.9 Battalion 9 to Battalion 7
Bat.7 These stairway walls have been compromised on 7-3, 7-4. No smoke or fire problems, okay?
Bat.9 Okay, ten-four

1:02:46 on tapeEdit

Speaker 1:02:46 on tape
Lad.15 1-5 to Battalion Seven?
Bat.7 Go Ladder 1-5.
Lad.15 What do you got up there, Chief?
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer I'm still in boy stair, 74th floor. No smoke or fire problems, walls are breached, so be careful.
Lad.15 Yeah, Ten-Four, I saw that on 68. Uh, we're on 71 we're coming up behind you
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer Ten-four. Six more to go.
Lad.15 Let me know when you see fire.
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer (illegible text)...marshall on 75.

1:04:36 on tapeEdit

Speaker 1:04:36 on tape
Lad.15 1-5 to 1-5OV? 1-5 to 1-5OV?
Lad.15 OV 1-5OV.
Lad.15 Tommy, have you made it back down to the lobby yet?
Lad.15 OV Nah, the elevator's screwed up.
Lad.15 You can't move it?
Lad.15 OV I don't want to get stuck in the shaft.
Lad.15 Alright Tommy, it's imperative that you try to get down to the lobby commandpost and get some people up to 40. We've got injured people up here on 70. If you make it to the lobby commandpost, see if they can somehow get elevators past the 40th floor, we've got people injured all the way up here.

1:05:30 on tapeEdit

Speaker 1:05:30 on tape
Bat.7 Alpha Battalion Seven Alpha to Seven?
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer Go Steve.
Bat.7 Alpha Yeah Chief, I'm on 5-5, I gotta rest. I'll try to get up there as soon as possible
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer Ten-four.

1:07:05 on tapeEdit

Speaker 1:07:05 on tape
Lad.15 1-5 to Battalion 7?
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer (illegible text)...south tower, tower 1, (illegible text)...commander
unidentified Anybody see the highway one car? Highway one car, we need it for an escort to the hospital for a fireman.
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer Battalion 7 to Ladder 1-5?
unidentified 15 Irons
Lad.15 1-5 to 1-5 Roof, come in?
Bat.6 Chief Battalion Six to command post?

1:06:05 on tapeEdit

Speaker 1:06:05 on tape
Lad.15 1-5 to Battalion 7?
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer Battalion 7
Lad.15 What floor you on, Orio?
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer The stairway on the 75. Go to the south stairway and continue up.
Lad.15 Ten-four

1:07:45 on tapeEdit

Speaker 1:07:45 on tape
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer Battalion 7 to Battalion 7 Alpha?
unidentified Freddie, come on over. Freddie, come on over by us.
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer Battalion Seven...Ladder 15, we've got two isolated pockets of fire. We should be able to knock it down with two lines. Radio...out of breath, that, 78th floor numerous 10-45 Code Ones.[4]
Lad.15 What stair are you in, Orio?
Battalion 7 Alpha Seven Alpha to lobby command post?
Lad.15 1-5 to Battalion 7?
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer Ladder 15?
Lad.15 Chief, what stair you in?
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer South stairway Adam, South Tower.
Lad.15 Floor 78?
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer Ten-four, numerous civilians, we gonna need two engines up here.
Lad.15 Alright ten-four, we're on our way.
Battalion 6 Battalion 6 to commandpost?
Battalion 6 Battalion 6...Battalion 6 reports there is a skylobby available at the 44th floor that will serve uh, will serve the floors above. Uh, (illegible text)[5]
unidentified 7 unidentified to commandpost?
Bat.7 Alpha Chief Palmer reports on the 78th floor, numerous 10-45 Code Ones, uh, we got isolated pockets of fire, we need at least two handlines up there
Bat.7 Alpha 7 Alpha to Battalion 7?
unidentified (illegible text) South Tower...South Tower, Tower..tell them... frantic stumbling over words, unintelligible Tower (illegible text) One.
Bat.7 Battalion 7, Ladder 1-5?
Lad.15 1-5
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer I'm going to need two of your firefighters, Adam stairway, to knock down two fires. We have a house line stretched we could get some water on it, knock it down, 'kay?
Lad.15 Alright ten-four, we're coming up the stairs. We're on 77 now in the B stair, I'll be right to you
Lad.15 Roof Fifteen Roof to 15. We're on 71. We're coming right up.


Speaker 9:57am
unidentified Division 3 ... lobby command, to the Fieldcom command post?
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer Operations Tower One to floor above Battalion Nine
Bat.9 Chief Battalion Nine to command post?
Bat.7 Operations Tower One Battalion Seven Operations Tower One to Battalion Nine, need you on floor above 79. We have access stairs going up to 79, 'kay?
Bat.9 Alright, I'm on my way up Orio.
Lad.15 OV 1-5-OV to 1-5
Lad.15 Go ahead Fifteen OV, Battalion Seven Operations Tower One.
Lad.15 OV Stuck in the elevator, in the elevator shaft, you're going to have to get a different elevator. We're chopping through the wall to get out
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer Radio lobby command with that Tower One.


Speaker 9:58am
Bat.7 Chief Orio Palmer Battalion Seven to Ladder 15.


  1. After the collapse, the FDNY would claim that the radio repeaters installed in the towers were not properly working, which resulted in frayed communications, and consequently difficulty relaying orders, and consequently fewer people able to be evacuated before the collapse.
  2. Church and Liberty are two intersecting roads on the South-East corner of the WTC plaza, adjacent to WTC 4
  3. A CFRD is a "Certified First Responder & Defibrilation" firetruck, equipped to handle medical emergencies while awaiting paramedics.
  4. A 10-45 Code One refers to a civilian fire fatality
  5. Both towers had skylobbies located on the 44th and 78th floors

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This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).