Emergency Response to Terrorism


02 Aug 2017 04 Sep 2017

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Past Acts of Terrorism

On September 11, 2001, America experienced an attack. Early in the morning at around 8:45 am a flight carrying 20, 000 gallons of jet fuel made its way to the northern side of the world trade centre tower hitting the 80th floor. This lead to the death of hundred plus individuals plus other were trapped on the higher floors of the world trade centre located in New York. Some few minutes later the same world trade centre building was hit with another plane which hit the 60th floor, and this led to a massive explosion that alarmed the whole state that indeed America was under attack. Immediately during the attack, the media managed to make a live broadcast of the attack so as to inform the public of the occurrence.

The planners of the attack of the September 11 did it perfectly such that they ensured that there was no leak of the attack to the public. The attacker did not make use of any electronic form of communication, and thus this radio silence helped them execute their plan effectively. During the attack, the federal government experienced various communication breakdown, and this affected how the disaster was handled. An official from the 9/1 1gave a statement and said that the federal government experienced various communication breakdowns during the attack (Asaeda, 2005).

The report that was given showed that the systems of communication that were put in place had failed. During the attack, those who were operating the planes tried to reach the Federal Aviation Administration via teleconferencing, but this proved difficult. The FAA did not join the conference for almost 15 minutes and even after they had joined they did not take an immediate move. The FAA personals involved in the conferencing did not have the authority to deal with the situation as the senior officials were absent. This delay in the relaying of information between the operators and the FAA contributed a lot to the attack being successful. If the official responded in advance, then an immediate solution would have been adopted to deal with the situation.

Immediately the attack took place it only took a few minutes, and the firefighters were on the ground. The attack led to several individuals being hurt and may others losing their lives. The hospitals in New Jersey, New York and the neighbouring areas prepared themselves for the attack. The hospital beds were secured, and the elective surgeries that were taking place were put to a halt to make room for the victims of the attack. St Vincent who was the closest trauma centre approximately 1.6 km from the world trade centre was filled with victims of the occurrence. New York Cornell Hospital dealt with the burn patients as it is the only burn centre in Manhattan. The nurses and the doctors were not allowed to leave the hospitals because of the large number of patients that were being rushed to the hospitals (Kendra & Wachtendorf, 2003). The rescue teams including the firefighters and the policemen were in place to ensure that the situation was under control. In total the rescue team managed to save the lives of twenty individuals who had been trapped in the building.

The first responders encountered several challenges when the WTC attack took place. After the bombing of the world trade centre in 1993 radio repeaters were installed in the tower to ease communication but the firefighters were not aware that the repeaters were functioning. During the attack, there was little communication between the police department and the fire department and thus when the police were notified to evacuate the building after realising that the tower was at a risk of collapsing the firefighters were not informed. The firefighters lacked information about the collapse of the building because they were not watching the news broadcast and also because the communication centre for the police which could have used to inform them had been evacuated due to the threat that the building will collapse. The supplies for various equipment needed for rescue delayed and this thus crippled the rescue situation.

The government agencies responded pretty well to the disaster. The various rescue teams and firefighting teams were in place, and they showed their bravery in the scene. They managed to save a lot of lives, and those who were injured were immediately rushed to the hospital. The hospital having been alarmed by the situation had already prepared for the disaster and had their doctors in place to take care of the situation at hand. The rescue teams experienced problems with communication, and thus the crowding of the communication network made it hard for the hospital to determine the patients are coming from the world trade centre attack (Simon & Teperman, 2001). Despite the communication breakdown the hospitals still managed to take care of the patients and create more beds for the world trade centre victims. In future, the government should, therefore, ensure that they have communication backup in case of such an occurrence in future.

The world trade centre sent an awakening call to the government of the United States concerning their preparation for such disasters. The fact that the tower has been a site of interest for many terrorists because of the many people it accommodates and its location as well. The government should, therefore, put in place security measures that will help curb such situations in future. The awakening call has also helped the government to improve the disaster management technique that was in place before.


Asaeda, G. (2005, September). World Trade Centre Attack. In International Congress on Disaster Medicine and Emergency Management. Yale, New Haven.

Kendra, J. M., & Wachtendorf, T. (2003). Elements of resilience after the world trade centre disaster: reconstituting New York City's Emergency Operations Centre. Disasters, 27(1), 37-53.

Simon, R., & Teperman, S. (2001). The World Trade Center attack: lessons for disaster management. Critical Care, 5(6), 318.


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