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Retired NYPD Lieutenants William E. Keegan, Jr., Owen McCaffery and John Moran and Tom Thees, a former COO in the financial industry, announce today the formation of H.E.A.R.T (Healing Emergency Aid Response Team) 911.

NEW YORK, Sept. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- H.E.A.R.T 911 is a non-profit, non-sectarian volunteer response team comprised of veteran police officers, fire fighters and construction trade union workers, all of whom worked on rescue and recovery after the September 11th attacks and surviving family members of those who died on 9/11.

H.E.A.R.T 911 will respond nation-wide to situations that arise during natural or man-made disasters. The team's expertise is in developing policy, procedures and programs for hazardous materials, confined space rescue, mass fatality management, corporate asset recovery and terrorist intelligence assessment.

Bill Keegan was the Night Operations/Safety Commander for the FDNY at the World Trade Center site from September 11, 2001 until June 3, 2002. During that time, Owen McCaffery and John Moran held the same positions as Mr. Keegan at the site for the NYPD. Tom Thees financed a "thank you" concert for 2,500 World Trade Center Recovery workers at the Beacon Theater in July, 2002. Mr. Thees donated and raised money for many families who lost loved ones in the attacks.

Their W.T.C. Rescue/Recovery experience has given the H.E.A.R.T 911 board a unique overview of the coordinated and sustained effort needed to respond to a crisis. "The experience of 9/11 left us with an overwhelming need to use what we've learned to aid in other disaster relief work", said Keegan.

The current team is made up of about 100 firefighters, police officers and construction workers who volunteered or worked on rescue and recovery on September 11th. In the event of another man-made or natural disaster, the team is ready and willing to help. H.E.A.R.T. 911 is currently in talks with officials in New Orleans about the possibility of assisting with rebuilding efforts in the local gulf community.

Family members who lost loved ones in the attacks have offered their services and will work with residents who need emotional support and help navigating logistics such as government agencies, insurance companies and local administration. "We have all experienced profound loss and we feel we can be helpful to those who are going through something similar. We want to give people who are in distress an opportunity to benefit from what we learned through our own tragedy", said Jill Marsella whose husband, Thomas Swift, an employee at Morgan Stanley, died in the World Trade Center on September 11th.

Bill Keegan is the author of, Closure: The Untold Story of the Ground Zero Recovery Mission which was published in September, 2006. "The only way to heal and honor those we lost on September 11th is to help others. There is healing in having a purpose", said Keegan. A portion of the book's proceeds went to The Fallen Heroes Fund to benefit families of NYPD and FDNY who lost their lives on 9/11.

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