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6:00pm to 8:00pm
New Canaan Library | 151 Main St, New Canaan, CT 06840

A 22-Year Journey: From 9/11 to Today

A 22-Year Journey: From 9/11 to Today
Monday, September 25th
6:00pm to 8:00pm
New Canaan Library
151 Main St, New Canaan, CT 06840

Mary Fetchet, Founding Director of Voices Center for Resilience will present A 22-year Journey from 9/11 to Today: Helping Families and Communities Prepare for Emergencies. Ms. Fetchet, a New Canaan resident for 35 years and mother of Brad Fetchet, who died in the September 11 attacks, will share her personal experience and perspective on preparing communities in advance of a tragedy. The three-town presentations will also include remarks from representatives of local and state emergency management, highlighting their efforts to prepare communities. Tipsheets and preparedness materials will be distributed to those in attendance. The events are free and open to the public, but registration is suggested.

Ms. Fetchet will speak about the how the loss of her son and the needs of the other families led to her advocacy efforts, and the creation of Voices Center for Resilience, formerly known as Voices of September 11th. In the years since 9/11, Fetchet and her dedicated staff have provided long-term support services for thousands of victims’ families, responders, and survivors. “An important lesson we learned on 9/11 – it is incumbent on individuals, families and communities to have a plan in place in the event of an emergency” remarked Mary Fetchet. To that end, VOICES is collaborating with public-private partnerships to assist communities in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from other tragedies, in the United States and abroad.

Voices Center for Resilience is working in partnership with STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way to promote September as Preparedness Month through presentations at the New Canaan, Darien and Westport libraries. The project has been funded in part by a grant from AmeriCorps 9/11 Day of Service and The Arc. Katie Banzhaf, Executive Director of STAR states, “STAR is pleased to collaborate with Voices Center to enhance community preparedness while remembering and respecting the lives and lessons of September 11th. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with the impassioned, dedicated and knowledgeable experts at VOICES to share valuable insights that can save lives.”

An advocate for the establishment of the 9/11 Commission, Fetchet campaigned to mark September as National Preparedness Month in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. Established by the US Government, the campaign encourages all citizens and communities to make their own preparedness plans.

About the Presenters
Russ Kimes
Emergency Management Director, The Town of New Canaan
Russell Kimes, III is the Emergency Management Director (EMD) for the Town of New Canaan. He has held that role since the summer of 2020, becoming the Town’s first full-time EMD in July of 2022. He has been a volunteer firefighter with the New Canaan Fire Company #1 for 25 years and has served as the Assistant Fire Chief for over a decade.
Director Kimes holds numerous national firefighting and incident management certifications, as well as is a certified Emergency Medical Technician. He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, serving the country for eight years and deployed to Iraq in 2003. The EMD is responsible for the Town’s Emergency Operations Plan, which includes hazard mitigation, emergency response and recovery plans, as well as participating with local, regional and state emergency planning activities and exercises.


Robert F. Kenny, Jr.
Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection
Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security
Bob Kenny has been with the Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security since 2008, and currently serves as the Region 1 Emergency Management Coordinator.
He is the former Assistant Chief of Police for the Town of Orange, CT., a graduate of the 198th Session of the FBI National Academy, and a Connecticut licensed Paramedic with over 35 years of clinical experience in the Emergency Medical Services field. Prior to his current role, Bob served as the State’s EMS Field Program Coordinator within the CT Department of Public Health, Office of Public Health Preparedness where he helped develop mass casualty plans, with a focus on response to bio-terrorism incidents. He previously served as an active volunteer firefighter and officer with the North Haven Fire Department for 30 years. He currently serves as the Chair of the Statewide ESF-12 / Energy and Utilities Work Group, is the Co-chair of the Statewide Citizen Corps Council and is a member and Past President of InfraGard CT. Bob has served on numerous preparedness committees at the State and National level, as well as serving as committee member of the International Emergency Management Group with our Canadian partners.


Michele DeLuca
Deputy Emergency Manager, City of Norwalk
Michele DeLuca is the Deputy Emergency Manager for the City of Norwalk and has been with the City for 16 years. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Western CT State University and Masters degree from Fairfield University. She worked in Disaster and Emergency Services for the American Red Cross from 1997 to 2007.
Within the regional emergency planning team framework, she has held leadership positions as Chair, Vice-chair, Mass Care and Long-term recovery. She also sits on the State Mass Care working group and Long term recovery committee and co-chaired the Region 1 COVID Long term recovery group. She is also a member of the Governors Committee on Climate Change.
When not working, she volunteers for the American Cancer Society and trying to check off her National parks bucket list.


Mary Fetchet, LCSW
Founding Director, Voices Center for Resilience
Mary Fetchet is the driving force behind Voices Center for Resilience (VOICES), a non-profit organization she co-founded in 2001 following the death of her 24 year old son Brad at the World Trade Center. Her unique background as a mother of a victim, along with over 20 years of expertise as a clinical social worker, influenced VOICES innovative approach.
Using social work practices, she guided the development of programs that provide continuity of care and promote resiliency in the lives of victims' families, responders and survivors. Today, Ms. Fetchet is also helping communities heal after other traumatic events through VOICES Center of Excellence for Community Resilience, an initiative that she launched in 2014.
Under her leadership, VOICES launched the 9/11 Living Memorial Project in advance of the 5th anniversary to document the nearly 3,000 lives lost and stories of survivors. As a clinician, she recognized the importance of commemoration and supporting families through the emotional but therapeutic process of honoring their loved ones in a meaningful way. The 9/11 Living Memorial Project is now an extensive digital collection of over 70,000 photographs and personal keepsakes contributed by thousands of family members. The collection is located on VOICES website and is also a core component of the In Memoriam exhibit at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City.
A strong advocate for the rights of victim's families and survivors, and public policy reforms to make the country safer, Ms. Fetchet advocated for an appropriate process for the notification of human remains, the Victim's Compensation Fund and the creation of the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site. She was also instrumental in campaigning for the 9/11 Commission and the implementation of reforms based on their recommendations. She testified before the 9/11 Commission and the U.S. Congress on five occasions.
Ms. Fetchet's work through the VOICES Center of Excellence for Community Resilience includes establishing public-private partnerships, educational initiatives and research projects to document best practices in preparing communities to more effectively respond to the long-term needs of victims' families, responders and survivors. Through a U.S. Department of Justice grant, VOICES produced a publication, Preparing for After, a resource kit of best practices based on interviews conducted with those who responded to the 9/11 attacks; the Oklahoma City bombing; and the shootings at Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois University and Tucson, Arizona. Currently, she is leading several research projects that are examining the long-term needs of families and communities impacted by traumatic events.
An expert on the long-term needs of victims and survivors, mental health care, preparedness, and national security reforms, she has personally advised organizations and federal agencies both nationally and internationally. Ms. Fetchet has made hundreds of appearances on national television and at conferences in the U.S. and abroad, and contributes regularly to print and radio. Her awards include induction into the Hall of Fame at Columbia School of Social Work in NYC, the Social Work Managers Award, Hometown Heroes on DIRECTTV, ABC News Person of the Year, Moffly Media Light A Fire Award and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams Making a Difference.
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