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Hard Hat Used in 9/11 Recovery Efforts is Donated to Museum

Hard hat used during 9/11 recovery, donated by Steve Nevins. (By Amy Dreher) Hard hat used during 9/11 recovery, donated by Steve Nevins. (By Amy Dreher)

Steve Nevins, who was a New York State police captain at the time, was in the Albany area when he learned that the World Trade Center had been attacked on 9/11. As he prepared to respond to the disaster site, his thoughts turned to the safety of his brother, Gerard Nevins. Gerard was a New York City firefighter with Rescue Company 1.

Steve Nevins was serving as the detail commander for the New York State police's emergency services, and he was responsible for the troopers’ SWAT, K-9 unit, as well as other elements of its mobile response team.

He and his fellow state troopers arrived at the WTC site on Sept. 12, 2001 and began working with the New York City Police Department’s emergency services unit. Nevins initially worked at Ground Zero for the next four to six weeks and then once a week for the rest of the recovery period. He attended a memorial service for his 46-year-old brother on Oct. 6, 2001.

Gerard Nevins, an 18-year FDNY veteran working in Manhattan, had just earned recognition as the department’s firefighter of the year.

Steve Nevins, who now has the rank of major with the state police, pledged the gift of his hard hat worn at Ground Zero exactly 20 years to the day his brother responded to the bomb-ravaged World Trade Center on Feb. 26, 1993.

The hard hat donated to the museum was not a standard issue of the state police uniform. Steve Nevins added an New York State Police sticker to the hard hat he acquired from an equipment area near the recovery site.

By Jan Seidler Ramirez, Chief Curator and Director of Collections