Williams employees help man phone bank for families looking for victim information

Monday, September 17th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A Tulsa-based company is playing a direct role in providing support to victims of the attack. News on Six reporter Glenda Silvey says Williams Energy is a business partner of Cantor Fitzgerald, the New York firm housed on four upper floors of the World Trade Center.

Some Williams traders were on the phone with Cantor Fitzgerald offices in Houston when the attack occurred. Within a few hours, Williams activated one of its 800 numbers and created a call center for Cantor Fitzgerald survivors, victims' families, and general information. More than 200 Williams employees have volunteered to man the center 24 hours a day since, logging more than 40,000 calls.

Williams says the calls have been heart wrenching, from family members and friends frantic for information, such as the wife who called about her husband, who worked on the 104th floor of Tower One. Iris Bryant, call center director, "He didn't like to have his wallet in his pocket and he would take his wallet out and put it in his desk while he worked. And she said, 'He could be roaming around dazed, and no identification. How can I find him?"

Bryant says Cantor Fitzgerald kept the safe list updated so operators were able to provide good news to at least some callers. Williams employees lost many friends in the attack. Bryant says this is the least Williams can do to help its counterparts, friends and customers who've been devastated by this tragedy.