On Sept. 11, 2001, Vincent Caprio was at the Marriott World Trade Center attending a conference when the terrorist attacks occurred. After watching the twin towers go down, he felt a personal call to devote his time to the recovery effort at ground zero.

An experienced emergency medical technician (EMT) trained in crisis response for large venues, Caprio used his skills and stayed at ground zero for 22 hours. Then he went back and volunteered for another 400 hours.

“It felt important to me to go back and help,” said Caprio.

On Feb. 28, Caprio was honored for his efforts on that day and for his work post-Sept. 11 with a state citation presented to him by State Rep. Anne Hughes at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford.

“Vincent represents the excluded EMS and workforce that did not get covered in any of the post-benefits,” said Hughes. “He has worked diligently for years to clarify his service and reputation. It was very important to present this citation on behalf of the state government.”

The state’s General Assembly issues honorary citations in recognition of noteworthy cases that deserve special recognition.

“I am grateful to receive this,” said Caprio. “It gives me a platform to show what is going on in the lives of other Sept. 11 survivors and first responders.”

Caprio credits Voices Center for Resilience for giving him a platform to help those who were affected by Sept. 11. The New Canaan-based organization was co-founded by Mary Fetchet in 2001, following the death of her son Brad at the World Trade Center.

The organization provides long-term support and resources that promote mental health care and wellness for victims’ families, responders and survivors of the 9/11 attacks and for families of those who have died from illnesses related to the attacks. Since 2001, more than 6,300 responders and survivors have died of illnesses related to Sept. 11. More than 77,000 individuals are currently in treatment for serious medical and mental health conditions, according to the organization.

“With my personal experience losing my son, I realized that I needed to support those that were in need,” said Fetchet. “I started this organization because I realized how important it was to be a part of the conversation of how it affected families, responders, and survivors.”

Fetchet and Caprio met shortly after Sept.11 and ever since they have been putting their efforts into making sure the stories of the people affected are heard.

“Vince helped us plan our first anniversary, and it was an event that brought the families, responders, and survivors together for those who have been affected by the tragedy,” said Fetchet. “Vincent represents the people who stayed and helped, at that time no one knew what was happening so a lot of people left. Vincent took it upon himself to help those in need.”