Brenda Berkman, Regina Wilson, Carol Paukner: Remembering Ground Zero's Female First Responders

Earlier this week, we published an interview with Brenda Berkman, a New York City Firefighter who worked at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center.

Today, on the tenth anniversary of that day, we're proud to present profiles of two other women who were among the first responders on the scene at Ground Zero, New York City police officer Carol Paukner and New York City firefighter Regina Wilson, along with a video of Berkman talking about her career and her 9/11 experience. All three originally appeared on the new site Women You Should Know, whose self-described mission is "to shine a spotlight on women who are making things happen in their world."

Given the timing of Women You Should Know's launch earlier this week, the site's founders wrote, they knew they wanted to focus on the female emergency service personnel who reported for duty at Ground Zero on 9/11. There was only one problem:

"We didn’t know, for sure, if there were any women first responders. Yes, we agree, that it might seem like an odd question to ask, 'Were there even any women there?' But, as none of us could recall seeing any news coverage or pictures of women firefighters, police officers, EMTs, FBI agents, etc. connected to 9/11, we started doing some research ... women seemed to have gone missing from almost every account we read or viewed about this very dark part of our country’s history."

They ultimately located women to profile through the book and project "Women At Ground Zero."

These three women were there at Ground Zero on 9/11 and for days and in some cases weeks after, sustaining physical and psychological injuries as they worked to rescue others trapped in the rubble, search for remains, and secure the area. Today, we honor them.


9/11's Female First Responders