When a three-story sub-level parking garage collapsed on itself in Hackensack, N.J., EMS, fire and law enforcement agencies worked together to evacuate residents, search for people reportedly trapped and treat responders for heat-related illnesses. After the call came in for a “pancaked” garage, the Hackensack Fire Department responded. Units from nearby Paterson, Newark, Morristown, Jersey City and North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue provided urban area security initiative and urban search and rescue teams. New Jersey State Police Office of Emergency Management’s “NJTF-1” also responded. Within the first hour, full operations included an EMS sector, rehabilitation operations in lobbies of neighboring apartment buildings, shoring and cutting stations, and unified command tent among the various staging areas. After several hours of search-and-rescue operations, it was determined that nobody was trapped. EMS providers helped evacuate senior citizens and dependent residents from a nearby building and treated several emergency responders for heat-related illness.
This article originally appeared in September 2010 JEMS as “’Pancake’ Operations.”
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