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7:00pm to 9:00pm
Darien Public Library | 1441 Post Rd, Darien, CT 06820

A 22-Year Journey: From 9/11 to Today

A 22-Year Journey: From 9/11 to Today
Wednesday, October 4th
7:00pm to 9:00pm
Darien Public Library
1441 Post Rd, Darien, CT 06820

Mary Fetchet, Founding Director of Voices Center for Resilience presented A 22-year Journey from 9/11 to Today: Helping Families and Communities Prepare for Emergencies. Ms. Fetchet, a New Canaan resident for 35 years and mother of Brad Fetchet, who died in the September 11 attacks, shared her personal experience and perspective on preparing communities in advance of a tragedy. The three-town presentations included remarks from representatives of local and state emergency management, highlighting their efforts to prepare communities. Tipsheets and preparedness materials were distributed to those in attendance.

Ms. Fetchet spoke about the how the loss of her son and the needs of the other families led to her advocacy efforts, and the creation of Voices Center for Resilience, formerly known as Voices of September 11th. In the years since 9/11, Fetchet and her dedicated staff have provided long-term support services for thousands of victims’ families, responders, and survivors. “An important lesson we learned on 9/11 – it is incumbent on individuals, families and communities to have a plan in place in the event of an emergency” remarked Fetchet. To that end, VOICES continues to collaborate with public-private partnerships to assist communities in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from other tragedies, in the United States and abroad.

Voices Center for Resilience worked in partnership with STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way to promote September as Preparedness Month through presentations at the New Canaan, Darien and Westport libraries. The project was funded in part by a grant from AmeriCorps 9/11 Day of Service and The Arc. Katie Banzhaf, Executive Director of STAR stated, “STAR is pleased to collaborate with Voices Center to enhance community preparedness while remembering and respecting the lives and lessons of September 11th. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with the impassioned, dedicated and knowledgeable experts at VOICES to share valuable insights that can save lives.”

An advocate for the establishment of the 9/11 Commission, Fetchet campaigned to mark September as National Preparedness Month in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. Established by the US Government, the campaign encourages all citizens and communities to make their own preparedness plans.

Local Resources
National Resources
About the Presenters
Richard Koch
Darien Emergency Medical Services, Post-53 Board of Directors
Richard Koch joined Post 53 as a volunteer in 1980 and became a CT Certified Emergency Medical Services instructor in 1983. He joined the Post 53 Board of Directors in 2000 and continues to serve in that capacity. Richard is a certified mass casualty instructor, and on 9/11 he was Chief of Operations at Darien EMS.
During his professional career he was a spokesman for Crane Co and Olin Corporation for 35 years and retired in 2014.
Marc McEwan
Assistant Fire Marshal / Emergency Management Director, Darien
Marc McEwan has been a resident of Darien, CT. his entire life. His family has been in the fire service for many decades and Marc is a third-generation fire fighter who has been a member of Noroton Heights Fire Department for 42 years, following in his father’s footsteps. He rose through the ranks to become the fire chief for 12 years.
Marc began work for the town in 1996 as Deputy Fire Marshal (DFM.) In 2007 he also was offered the current position of DFM Emergency Management Director. He served for several years with Darien Emergency Medical Services-Post 53 as an adult advisor, following his children during their Darien High School years.
Robert F. Kenny, Jr.
Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection
Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security
Bob Kenny has been with the Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security since 2008, and currently serves as the Region 1 Emergency Management Coordinator.
He is the former Assistant Chief of Police for the Town of Orange, CT., a graduate of the 198th Session of the FBI National Academy, and a Connecticut licensed Paramedic with over 35 years of clinical experience in the Emergency Medical Services field. Prior to his current role, Bob served as the State’s EMS Field Program Coordinator within the CT Department of Public Health, Office of Public Health Preparedness where he helped develop mass casualty plans, with a focus on response to bio-terrorism incidents. He previously served as an active volunteer firefighter and officer with the North Haven Fire Department for 30 years. He currently serves as the Chair of the Statewide ESF-12 / Energy and Utilities Work Group, is the Co-chair of the Statewide Citizen Corps Council and is a member and Past President of InfraGard CT. Bob has served on numerous preparedness committees at the State and National level, as well as serving as committee member of the International Emergency Management Group with our Canadian partners.
Mary Fetchet, LCSW
Founding Director, Voices Center for Resilience
Mary Fetchet is the driving force behind Voices Center for Resilience (VOICES), a non-profit organization she co-founded in 2001 following the death of her 24 year old son Brad at the World Trade Center. Her unique background as a mother of a victim, along with over 20 years of expertise as a clinical social worker, influenced VOICES innovative approach.
Using social work practices, she guided the development of programs that provide continuity of care and promote resiliency in the lives of victims' families, responders and survivors. Today, Ms. Fetchet is also helping communities heal after other traumatic events through VOICES Center of Excellence for Community Resilience, an initiative that she launched in 2014.
Under her leadership, VOICES launched the 9/11 Living Memorial Project in advance of the 5th anniversary to document the nearly 3,000 lives lost and stories of survivors. As a clinician, she recognized the importance of commemoration and supporting families through the emotional but therapeutic process of honoring their loved ones in a meaningful way. The 9/11 Living Memorial Project is now an extensive digital collection of over 70,000 photographs and personal keepsakes contributed by thousands of family members. The collection is located on VOICES website and is also a core component of the In Memoriam exhibit at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City.
A strong advocate for the rights of victim's families and survivors, and public policy reforms to make the country safer, Ms. Fetchet advocated for an appropriate process for the notification of human remains, the Victim's Compensation Fund and the creation of the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site. She was also instrumental in campaigning for the 9/11 Commission and the implementation of reforms based on their recommendations. She testified before the 9/11 Commission and the U.S. Congress on five occasions.
Ms. Fetchet's work through the VOICES Center of Excellence for Community Resilience includes establishing public-private partnerships, educational initiatives and research projects to document best practices in preparing communities to more effectively respond to the long-term needs of victims' families, responders and survivors. Through a U.S. Department of Justice grant, VOICES produced a publication, Preparing for After, a resource kit of best practices based on interviews conducted with those who responded to the 9/11 attacks; the Oklahoma City bombing; and the shootings at Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois University and Tucson, Arizona. Currently, she is leading several research projects that are examining the long-term needs of families and communities impacted by traumatic events.
An expert on the long-term needs of victims and survivors, mental health care, preparedness, and national security reforms, she has personally advised organizations and federal agencies both nationally and internationally. Ms. Fetchet has made hundreds of appearances on national television and at conferences in the U.S. and abroad, and contributes regularly to print and radio. Her awards include induction into the Hall of Fame at Columbia School of Social Work in NYC, the Social Work Managers Award, Hometown Heroes on DIRECTTV, ABC News Person of the Year, Moffly Media Light A Fire Award and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams Making a Difference.
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