The Twin Towers, As They Were Before 9/11Animation

I found this animation of the Twin Towers as they were before 9/11.  The animation features the architects who designed the building and the intent of the design features.

http://elearningexamples.com/the-world-trade-center-towers-as-they-were/comment-page-1/#comment-17490

Loss is a terrible thing.  This we love are always in our heart, they a part of everything we do. The problem is not remembering 9/11, the problem is how do we move forward?  I think the way to move forward is to honor those we lost in our dedication, generosity and service to others.

What do you think?

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Purchase The Downwind Walk, the only 9/11 book from the EMS perspective

The Downwind walk is now available on-line at Authorhouse Publications.Author ofThe Downwind Walk: A USAR Paramedics Experiences After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001

Lt. Kanaran’s book tells the EMS story of 9/11 from the perspective of an EMS lieutenant who responded as a urban search and rescue medic. The book contains never before published photos and interviews with significant responders of 9/11.  This book is important in preserving the EMS role in September 11, 2001 as the years pass.  This book should be read  EMT and paramedic students who want to know how to survive a terrorist attack.  This book is also an essential first hand account of 9/11 for use in and Homeland Security Degree Programs.  By reading this book you will gain a first hand account of 9/11 from Ground Zero from eye level.

This book gives you a behind the scenes view of Ground Zero and the after effects from Lt. Kanarian’s view, in his dusty boots.

http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000452690/The–Downwind-Walk.aspx

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My Three Best Friends and September 11, 2001

On September 11, 2001 I responded to Ground Zero as part of a Urban Search and Rescue Team.  During the events of the day we were exposed to what was  some of the most extreme hazards EMS has ever been faced with. When I speak at EMS conferences around the country providers ask me, “How did you survive in good health when so many providers where killed and continue to die from exposure at Ground Zero?”  There are several reasons I survived and am still healthy. I owe my survival to my training and equipment I was provided.

Being part of NYTF-1 FEMA USAR Team I was afforded the best training and the proper equipment for the response to Ground Zero. we were trained how to operate at the scene of a building collapse and how to work with Haz Mat environment.  we were also provided with filtration masks on the afternoon of September 11, 2001.

During the course of my EMS career we have been trained in the importance of scene safety and body substance isolation (BSI).  This training, equipment and habit of hand washing and protecting ourselves from disease helped preserve our health.

My Three Best Friends

I teach students and EMS providers that my three best friends are time distance and shielding. We learned these principles of safety at the Terrorism Awareness Course that was given at the EMS academy.  By Minimizing your Time exposed to a hazard, maximizing your Distance and using the best Shielding available you can stay safe at Terrorist incidents and Mass Casualty responses.

In a future post I will detail my rules To Live and Survive By for MCI response.

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Book Review: Report from Engine Company 82, by Dennis Smith

Report from Engine Company 82,

By Dennis Smith.An American Firefighting Classic

Published by Grand Central Publishing,

Hachette Book Group, New York City, 1999.

This book is an awesome account of firefighting in the Bronx in the 1970’s when fires where occurring back-to-back.  Dennis Smith was a firefighter in Engine 82 and Ladder 31 on Intervale Avenue near Freeman Street in the Bronx.  This book is the only book I have ever read in one night. I read this book in 1978 on a Friday night, by 1984 I was working in the Bronx as a paramedic. I have done many jobs with Engine 82 and love to read the history of FDNY.   This book is essential for new firefighters.

Report from Engine Company 82 details fires and events in the Bronx with funny stories that make you laugh and stories of death and destruction that make you pause and realize life is frail.  Dennis Smith details the loss of a firefighter who fell off the rear step and was killed by a responding ladder truck behind Engine Company 82.  Smith also tells of the deaths caused by malicious false alarms (One of the reasons fire alarm boxes have been reduced by the hundreds.)

Read about firefighting:

  • When firemen gauged a fires intensity by singeing of their ears
  • Before firemen wore bunker pants
  • When firemen rode on the rear step of apparatus
  • Learn why cabs of apparatus are now all enclosed
  • Learn the reasons behind safety rules and procedures we have present day

The Bronx has changed dramatically since the 1970’s. The burned out blocks of buildings are gone, replaced by modern fire resistant, water sprinklered buildings.  This book is a great read for firefighters and people interested in urban history. The book was originally printed in 1972 by McCall Books. Report from Engine Company 82 was out of print for many years but is now back on the “shelves”.

Author Facts: Dennis Smith also was Editor-In-Chief of Firehouse Magazine and authored a picture book entitled Firehouse, and another book entitled, Report From Ground Zero.Blacka and White Photos of Firemen in the 1970s

About Books Category

I want to share reviews of books I have read that you may find interesting.  Some of these books are EMS books, medical books or interesting non-work books I want to share with you.  I think it is important to keep reading and keep learning.  Please share your favorite books with http://www.downwindwalk.com in the Comments section.  Tell us the Title, Author, Publisher and what you liked about the book.  You will receive a free E-book for sharing.

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The Road to Recovery – Promoting Resiliency in First Responders, and Others Who Witness Trauma on a Regular Basis

Day in and day out - the most disturbing, horrific acts of violence, devastating disasters, and human beings who have survived every conceivable tragedy, are witnessed by First Responders, Military Personnel, and other Caregiving or Life Saving professionals. Just as a single organ does not operate independently from the rest of the body, so too, people responding to these events share the experience with every sense engaged and affected; taste, touch, smell, sound, sight, and respiration.

Some of the ‘imprinted’ sensations we are aware of, because they are so obviously unavoidable, yet others remain as footprints or clues that may not yet be visible. Anyone acting as witness to even a single episode of such magnitude experiences increased levels of stress that may be apparent in, but not limited to; blood pressure, respiration, vascular dilation, mood, cortisol, and so on.

It is a commonly held belief that, the people who do this every single day, “get used to it” or develop a “thick skin”. While it is true that a certain tolerance develops, the people who perform these types of essential services on a daily basis, are affected whether they realize it or not. In fact, it is an irony that compassion is a pre-requisite for optimal performance and often creates heroism in it’s purest form. If you have ever been the recipient of such services then you know when you are in the presence of ‘the real deal’, rather than someone who is just going through the motions.

However, the layering or accumulation of these experiences, and the lack of awareness about their effects creates a physiological ongoing response that is known as vicarious trauma. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – PTSD, the predecessor to the anticipated change in the next DSM, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome – PTSS, Stress, Depression, Obesity, Cardiovascular Disease, Hypertension, Insomnia and Diabetes are often either singularly or in combination, the result.

Much has been written about the five stages of grief, as originally identified by Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, MD, suffice to say that the completion of these stages are essential for First Responders, Military Personnel, and other Caregiving or Life Saving professionals. Although it is possible to be in multiple stages at a time, or not go through them in order, first and foremost, they are critical to issues of resolution.

Failure to fully allow the grieving process to play out often results in a further alteration of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual functioning. A lack of connection to others, avoiding intimacy, indulging in self medication, dissociation – a lack of physical awareness that may result in accidental injuries, risk taking behaviors, insomnia, increased or uncontrollable anger, abusive behavior - to self or others, or anything else that numbs you out, ALL are symptoms of aversion, which ultimately only brings more pain. Acceptance does NOT equal resignation.

Does holding on to the traumas you have witnessed prevent you from experiencing living life today? Have you lost a sense of connection or the ability to communicate authentically with family, friends, children, co-workers, or your community? Are you willing to consider how “keeping it in the vault”, over time occupies more and more valuable space that may be better filled with relationships or living? Are you willing to stop punishing yourself for someone lost or one you could not save, to remember instead all whose lives have been made better or possible due to your efforts?

Many people avoid addressing old issues for fear of what may be buried beneath the surface. In both my personal and professional experience I have often heard, “I am afraid that if I let myself cry or let the feelings out they will never stop” or “I will be so overwhelmed that I will not be able to function”. Just as a physical wound that looks relatively healed on the outside but is festering with infection underneath would not remain viable tissue indefinitely, so too it is with injuries of mind, emotion, and spirit.

Although intervention may be required to clean, heal, and restore the flesh underneath, so too the effects of trauma occasionally need to be re-opened. At the same time there is a difference between wounding pain and healing pain. While both exist on a continuum from mild to excruciating, in most cases healing pain is the by far easier to endure because at least it is pain with purpose.

Is there some ceremonial, or metaphorical way that you can lay down the burden of the fallen, or wounded by honoring their memory? Is it possible to place your burden somewhere else so that the earth that is your body is no longer polluted by your efforts to contain or carry it. Is there a way you can express it less directly but equally fully through movement, sound, writing, language, color, volunteerism, athletic or recreational pursuits?? Forgive yourself, love yourself and open your heart to release the others you currently bear.

Resiliency is made up of every day acts of awareness, flexibility, endurance, strength, focus, mindfulness, constructive self soothing, expression, and sharing your gifts. Reconnecting to your senses relates to increasing healthier forms of both pleasure and joy. There are many therapies such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Re-Processing (EMDR), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Expressive Therapies, and Mindfulness Practices that have all proven effective. Find the combination that works for you. There may be one or several, that work for you, who ever said it has to add up to 100?

I hope this has if not opened a door to healing, at least provided some food for thought. I look forward to hearing your questions, concerns, and comments. Feel free to contact me directly at Blessedbe.Beth@yahoo.com or middlescapes.com.

Many thanks to my new colleague Steven for this wonderful opportunity to gather a few of my thoughts. In the belief of all that is possible.

BlessedbeBeth of middlescapes.com

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Flag Day June 14th

“Red White and Blue” Photo by Jason Hums and Sonja Cajellas

June 14th is Flag Day which is a day to recognize our flag.  I personally have a new found allegiance to see the flag after seeing the flag at Ground Zero after September 11, 2001.  I have realized that in the worst days of our country we are a nation of one and not a nation of cities.   The American flag endures in the worst moments of our country’s history.

On September 11th I responded to the World Trade Center and worked hard to rescue people lost in the collapse of the Twin Towers.  I had been a at many serious jobs in New York City but had never seen the American Flag displayed at a scene.  When I looked up and saw the flag I was deeply moved.  Upon returning home I was impressed to see  a flag on every house in my neighborhood.

To read more about my experiences at Ground Zero after 9/11 go to: http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000452689/The–Downwind-Walk.aspx

This photo was taken by paramedic Jason Hums and Dr. Sonja Calias.

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Purchase The Downwind Walk. Read about the humanity of “That Day”.

The Downwind walk is now available on-line at Authorhouse Publications.Author ofThe Downwind Walk: A USAR Paramedics Experiences After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001

Lt. Kanarian’s book tells the EMS story of 9/11 from the perspective of an EMS lieutenant who responded as a urban search and rescue medic. The book contains never before published photos and interviews with significant responders of 9/11.  This book is important in preserving the EMS role in September 11, 2001 as the years pass.  This book should be read  EMT and paramedic students who want to know how to survive a terrorist attack.  This book is also an essential first hand account of 9/11 for use in and Homeland Security Degree Programs.  By reading this book you will gain a first hand account of 9/11 from Ground Zero from eye level.

This book gives you a behind the scenes view of Ground Zero and the after effects from Lt. Kanarian’s view, in his dusty boots.

http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000452690/The–Downwind-Walk.aspx

Posted in Book | Tagged , | Leave a comment

My Three Best Friends and September 11, 2001

On September 11, 2001 I responded to Ground Zero as part of a Urban Search and Rescue Team.  During the events of the day we were exposed to what was  some of the most extreme hazards EMS has ever been faced with. When I speak at EMS conferences around the country providers ask me, “How did you survive in good health when so many providers where killed and continue to die from exposure at Ground Zero?”  There are several reasons I survived and am still healthy. I owe my survival to my training and equipment I was provided.

Being part of NYTF-1 FEMA USAR Team I was afforded the best training and the proper equipment for the response to Ground Zero. we were trained how to operate at the scene of a building collapse and how to work with Haz Mat environment.  we were also provided with filtration masks on the afternoon of September 11, 2001.

During the course of my EMS career we have been trained in the importance of scene safety and body substance isolation (BSI).  This training, equipment and habit of hand washing and protecting ourselves from disease helped preserve our health.

My Three Best Friends

I teach students and EMS providers that my three best friends are time distance and shielding. We learned these principles of safety at the Terrorism Awareness Course that was given at the EMS academy.  By Minimizing your Time exposed to a hazard, maximizing your Distance and using the best Shielding available you can stay safe at Terrorist incidents and Mass Casualty responses.


Posted in Terrorism Response | Tagged | Leave a comment

EMS Week Speaking Event, Ridgewater Community College, Minnesota

Event Link:  EMS Week Speaking Event, Ridgewater Community College, Minnesota

I have the honor of being invited to Ridgewater Community College in Minnesota.  I will be lecturing on the psychological effects of September 11, 2001 and how to deal with stress from Emergency response work.  The seminar is open to EMS, Fire, Police and Mental Health workers.

There are incidents in the news on a monthly basis that push emergency responders in all disciplines to the limit.  PTSD  and cumulative stress bring us down and decrease the effectiveness of responders and agencies.  The people who give their all for the public need to stop and look out for each other.

This seminar is a very successful event and I am pleased to be returning to Minnesota to speak.  I will have copies of my book, The Downwind Walk, available for sale. I will also be presenting a 9/11 photo plaque with the American flag on the background to the event staff to be raffled off.

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Urban Search and Rescue – USAR

Urban search and rescue (USAR) is a branch of rescue services that prepares to responds to building collapses to rescue entrapped patients.  A USAR team is comprised of rescue specialists, hazardous material experts, search dogs and a cadre of specialists to make up a Task Force to respond to building collapses. The USAR function is responsible for building collapse response such as the Oklahoma City Bombing of the Murrah Federal Building, Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and the September 11, 2001 Attacks on the pentagon and the World Trade Center.

If a disaster event warrants national US&R support, FEMA will deploy the three closest task forces within six hours of notification, and additional teams as necessary. The role of these task forces is to support state and local emergency responders’ efforts to locate victims and manage recovery operations.

Each task force consists of two 31-person teams, four canines, and a comprehensive equipment cache. US&R task force members work in four areas of specialization: search, to find victims trapped after a disaster; rescue, which includes safely digging victims out of tons of collapsed concrete and metal; technical, made up of structural specialists who make rescues safe for the rescuers; and medical, which cares for the victims before and after a rescue.

Today there are 28 national task forces staffed and equipped to conduct round-the-clock search-and-rescue operations following earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, aircraft accidents, hazardous materials spills and catastrophic structure collapses. These task forces, complete with necessary tools and equipment, and required skills and techniques, can be deployed by FEMA for the rescue of victims of structural collapse.

 Related Links

Hurricane Katrina -  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Hurricane_Katrina

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/special-reports/katrina.html

Location of FEMA US&R Teams

- http://www.fema.gov/emergency/usr/locations.shtm

References

FEMA, About US&R, Obtained from  http://www.fema.gov/emergency/usr/about.shtm

on April 14, 2012

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