Soon after the 9/11 attacks, some New Yorkers volunteered to help clean up the massive amount of rubble caused by the collapse of the World Trade Center towers.
But for at least one of those people, the experience inspired a radical career change.
Andrew Phelps, an actor and director pre-9/11, was working in New York City when the attack happened. Desperate to volunteer, he snuck into "Ground Zero" and began helping to clear up the debris.
He later went back to school, gave up acting, and is now one of the emergency preparedness managers for the state of New Mexico.
"That one bad thing, I witnessed it, it was horrible" said Phelps. "But it put me on this other career path and because of that experience I now go to work every day and talk to local emergency managers about how they can plan for their community."
Al Jazeera's Gabriel Elizondo reports from Santa Fe, New Mexico.