Former FDNY commissioner Thomas von Essen told "Fox News Reporting" on Saturday that the 343 firefighters who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks were the "best fire chiefs in the world."
Of the 2,753 people killed at the World Trade Center, 343 were first responders from the Fire Department of New York, while another 71 were law enforcement officers from 10 different agencies.
"We had the best group of fire chiefs probably anywhere in the world because New York City had so many high rise buildings, so many dangerous buildings, so many prevention laws, and codes and everything else," he said.
The firefighter chiefs "really knew what they were doing," Von Essen continued, noting that once the second tower was hit by the plane, they had to "split them up."
"I was in the North tower lobby and we sent half of them to the south tower to try to get a handle of what was going on there," he recalled.