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About The Rescue
An assorted group made up of Marines, Policemen, Firemen and Emergency Services workers joined forces to rescue McLoughlin and Jimeno, at great peril, climbing into a fiery abyss of toxic smoke, twisted metal, and concrete that continually shifted under their weight, threatening to bury them alongside the trapped PAPD officers. McLoughlin and Jimeno consider these men the real heroes of their story.

"The rescue workers who came in after us and risked their lives to get Will and me out, these are all people who have families of their own,” says McLoughlin. "Will and I had to face death, but we didn't have a choice; it was thrust upon us. These men knowingly faced death, crawling over that rubble pile, crawling into that hole that held us, when a shift of that debris field would have crushed them. They displayed incredible courage, risking their lives just to get two guys out.”

The first men to find McLoughlin and Jimeno were two errant Marines. Staff Sergeant Dave Karnes, in particular, was on a true mission. At the time, Karnes was an accountant; on 9/11, like so many others, he watched the World Trade Center tragedy unfold on television. Karnes, a deeply religious man, felt a personal calling to help and saw this as a mission given him by his God. He returned to full Marine mode, stopping at a barbershop to have his hair buzzcut, donning his fatigues, and racing to Ground Zero. Though police and National Guard had erected barricades barring people from getting close to the disaster, the steely Marine, without official permission, made his way through regardless. As the night closed out official rescue efforts, Karnes, in an extraordinary effort, got himself, with help from another mysterious Marine (named Thomas), into the treacherous rubble pile and began searching for survivors. Against all odds, they located McLoughlin and Jimeno.

Michael Shannon played Karnes. "Dave is a far braver man than I could ever imagine,” says the actor. "He seemed to follow a simple plan. He got a message from the Lord to go to Ground Zero, so he went. He looked around with the help of another Marine, Thomas, until he found somebody. He had a very deeply rooted belief and he wouldn't stop until he found what he was looking for.”

Though remarkable, it was one thing for Karnes to find McLoughlin and Jimeno and quite another to get them out. Because of the way the guts of the Trade Center had snared and encased the men, the rescuers could had to free Jimeno first, then dig deeper to get McLoughlin. Emergency Service Unit officers Scott Strauss and Paddy McGee, alongside paramedic Chuck Sereika – played by Stephen Dorff, Stoney Westmoreland, and Frank Whaley, respectively – worked together for three hours to release Jimeno.

"Because they tried to film the movie in scene order, I came on board near the end of the production, but I knew it would be a special movie,” says Dorff. "Meeting Scott and the guys was an incredible experience. He's got two great kids and a beautiful wife, but on that day, he was giving it all up to go do his job. Still, he won't call himself a hero. He's a hero to me. I have never met anybody as humble as he is. He's really affected me.”

"As an ESU officer, this is the kind of disaster we are trained for, this is what we do,” Strauss says. "So, I went to the Trade Center and we kept looking for people that we didn't find. I couldn't believe there were no survivors; it was a nightmare. So, when we found Will and John alive, they were like the Holy Grail. We had to get them out – it was game on!”

Strauss went into the hole with no gear on – the only way he could get in to free Jimeno. Crawling through the black, thick smoke, he did everything he could to free Jimeno, but the officer's arms and legs were so swollen that they remained pinned. Finally, Strauss got a<

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