Many associations were in the forefront of the action immediately following the attack on the World Trade Center towers on September 11. Here are just a few who leant a hand—not to mention a tugboat.

The Motor Transport Association of Connecticut, based in Hartford, encouraged its members to help the relief effort by offering trucks, cranes, bulldozers, dump trucks, and other vehicles. The American Institute of Architects, Washington, D.C., asked its members to volunteer to assist the Army Corps of Engineers and the State of New York by providing building assessment services to quickly assess whether buildings in the World Trade Center area posed immediate safety threats.

Arlington, Va.–based American Waterways Operators, which has offices just blocks from the World Trade Center towers, organized barge and tugboat companies in the New York City area to help evacuate victims, provide fresh water supplies and much-needed medical supplies, and supply diesel fuel to rescue vehicles. "The waterways were the probably the safest way to get people home who thought they may never get home again," says AWO vice president Linda O’Leary. Its members also are involved in transporting bodies to the morgues, removing debris and assisting the Port Authority.

The International Safety Equipment Association, whose members manufacture personal protective equipment, worked day and night to provide respirators, protective clothing, gloves, hard hats, and eye-protection to fire fighters and other emergency workers in New York City and at the Pentagon. "It’s something that’s got to be done. There are workers who need to be protected up there: That’s our business," says ISEA president Dan Shipp. "ISEA will continue these efforts as long at they’re needed."