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10 Years Ago: EMS Treats 9/11 Victims in New Jersey

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On Sept. 11, 2001, personnel from Jersey Medical Center and surrounding New Jersey communities responded to the Exchange Place Pier in Jersey City’s busy financial district. Crews rapidly set up triage, treatment and transportation operations and worked in conjunction with fire department and hazmat personnel to decontaminate, assess, treat and distribute individuals that were suddenly evacuated from the debris-filled, choking air in Lower Manhattan after the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Thousands of people were transported across the Hudson River by commercial ferry boats, tug boats, police and fire boats and passenger vessels. Hundreds of people on the boats , including injured emergency personnel, office workers and civilians, were severely burned, injured or emotionally traumatized. The massive boat transfer from the Battery Park area of Lower Manhattan, and the New Jersey EMS and fire department actions on 9/11 did not receive much attention in 2001, nor did the tremendous response by Arlington County (Va.) Fire Rescue and metropolitan Washington, D.C., agencies to the Pentagon attack, or the Somerset County (Pa.) EMS Agencies to the Shanksville, Pa. terrorist plane crash. So JEMS has prepared a special article, which appears on p. 38 of this issue and discusses how the 9/11 attacks have changed EMS, and a comprehensive editorial supplement that details important aspects of each incident that have never before been printed. Visit JEMS.com on September 11th and thereafter, to read and download the historic JEMS 9/11 supplement, titled Out of the Darkness.

This article originally appeared in September 2011 JEMS as “EMS in Action: 10 years ago.”

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