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Former Reading firefighter to speak on his 9 days of recovering remains at ground zero following 9/11

A former Reading Fire Department firefighter who spent nine days working at ground zero following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center will give an illustrated talk on that experience at the Reading Area Firefighters Museum on Sept. 30.

Gregory G. Noll grew up in northeast Reading and graduated from Central Catholic High School and Kutztown State College (now Kutztown University).

Noll, who now lives in Lancaster County, decided as a college student in the early 1970s to make the fire service his career, following his father Richard’s footsteps as a career firefighter with the Reading Fire Department. He left the active fire service a few years later to become an educator with the faculty of Iowa State University – Fire Service Institute.

Reading native Gregory Noll started his career as a professional firefighter in Reading and went on to become an educator, trainer and consultant in emergency preparedness.

Noll has spent decades since leaving Reading as an instructor and consultant in emergency preparedness, response and occupational safety and health.

A retired member of the Air Force Reserve, Noll has served as a subject matter expert for various Department of Defense hazardous materials and counterterrorism response training programs.

He formerly served as the program manager for the South-Central Task Force, a regional antiterrorism task force covering eight counties, and was responsible for the daily operations of the task force.

Noll also retired as the senior hazmat manager for Pennsylvania Task Force-1, one of the 28 federal urban search and rescue teams.

It was with Task Force-1 that Noll responded to Ground Zero for the grimmest of details – searching for the remains of victims in the rubble where the towers collapsed.

Noll is the co-author of nine textbooks on hazardous materials emergency response and management topics. He is a recipient of the John M. Eversole Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Association of Fire Chiefs for his leadership and contributions to further and enhance the hazardous materials emergency response profession.

In 2019 he was inducted into the National Fire Heritage Center – Hall of Legends, Legacies and Leaders for his significant lifetime contributions to the fire service and hazardous materials emergency response and training communities.

Noll’s talk will begin at 7 p.m. in the Reading Area Firefighters Museum, Fifth and Laurel streets.

Seating for the free presentation is limited, so you need to reserve tickets by visiting the museum website at

Source: Berkshire mont

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