Thursday, May 17, 2012

FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Operations, by Fred Endrikat,

October 1, 2002, FireEnginering, FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Operations, by Fred Endrikat,

Terrorists' use of hijacked commercial aircraft as weapons of mass destruction and the simultaneous attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) complex in New York City (NYC) and the Pentagon complex in Arlington, Virginia, on the morning of September 11, 2001, triggered the most significant response in the history of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Urban Search and Rescue National Response System. The attacks prompted a Presidential Disaster Declaration under the Stafford Act and the activation of the Federal Response Plan. The government implements the Federal Response Plan during a disaster to provide state and local governments with technical expertise, equipment, and other resources.

The magnitude of the destruction at the WTC complex prompted the NYC Mayor's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to request, through the appropriate channels, eight USAR task forces (TFs).

The task forces are the fundamental units of FEMA's National System. Each TF is sponsored by a state or local government jurisdiction and is comprised of 62 technical specialists, divided into management and operational elements. Currently, there are 28 USAR TFs in the federal system. A significant number of the agencies that sponsor federal TFs are municipal fire departments; a significant percentage of the members of the federal USAR system are firefighters.

While the USAR program office staff began to process the request for assistance (and a simultaneous request for assistance at the Pentagon incident), Incident Support Team (IST) members for both incidents were immediately activated and began to deploy.

The IST provides federal, state, and local officials with technical assistance in acquiring and using federal USAR resources through advice, incident command assistance, management and coordination of USAR TFs, and obtaining logistical support.

The FEMA USAR program includes three 20-member ISTs (the Red, White, and Blue teams). Each IST is on call one out of every three months; members must be able to deploy within two hours of receiving their activation orders. The White IST was on call the month of September 2001. Since all airline traffic was shut down after the attacks, most team members could not immediately deploy, resulting in the significant understaffing of the IST team in the critical early stages of the WTC collapse.

Both IST White team leaders serve as chief officers in California fire departments and could not procure transportation to New York. I, therefore, was assigned to serve as the team's operations chief, my regular position, and as the team's leader for the first two days until the assigned IST leaders arrived.

My first task was to respond to McGuire Air Force Base (AFB) in New Jersey to arrange with the military command for logistical support and ground transportation for the incoming USAR TFs. The FEMA IST ESF-9 leader (ESF-9 leaders are full-time FEMA employees) and another IST supervisor from the Operations Section arrived at McGuire AFB around the same time. This supervisor remained at McGuire to finalize arrangements and coordinate the logistics for TFs arriving by military air transport before he deployed to New York. The ESF-9 leader and the IST leader responded to NYC in a Pennsylvania State Police cruiser; they arrived around 1830 hours.


On arrival in NYC, the two initial IST members reported to the Jacob Javits Convention Center, approximately 40 blocks from the WTC site. They contacted Ray Lynch, the USAR coordinator for the Mayor's Office of OEM, who worked throughout the entire incident to coordinate interaction with NYC departments and FEMA USAR elements. One large exhibit hall in the Javits Center was dedicated for federal USAR TFs and the IST, and the setting up of communications and logistical support was begun shortly before the arrival of the first TFs.

The two IST members were then taken to the collapse site, where they met with FDNY and city officials to discuss the specific immediate needs of the collapse operations and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (the legal document that defines the operating instructions, responsibilities of all parties, and parameters for the engagement of federal USAR assets).

FEMA TFs were brought in to provide unique technical capabilities and to support the ongoing search and rescue effort. Throughout the WTC operation, the FEMA IST and USAR teams worked under FDNY's command and control structure.


Of the eight initial TFs activated by FEMA, four responded by ground transportation [Pennsylvania TF1 (PA-TF1), Massachusetts TF1 (MA-TF1), Ohio (OH-TF1), and Indiana TF1 (IN-TF1)]. The other four teams responded by military airlift (California TF1 (CA-TF1), California TF6 (CA-TF6), California TF7 (CA-TF7), and Missouri TF1 (MO-TF1)].

After encountering long delays in traffic in and around NYC, USAR PA-TF1 and MA-TF1 arrived by ground transportation at the Javits Center at approximately 2230 hours on September 11 and began to set up the Base of Operations (BOO), the area where TFs set up their command center; equipment cache; and sleeping, food service, and personal hygiene areas to support their 62 members.

After the TFs off-loaded their equipment from tractor-trailers inside the Javits Center and got a few hours of much-needed rest, PA-TF1 and MA-TF1 Advance Management Elements responded to the site in the early morning hours with the IST leader/operations chief to receive their initial orders, meet the FDNY sector commanders (the chiefs of the areas in which they would work), and conduct an initial assessment so that tactical operational plans could be developed.

MA-TF1 and PA-TF1 engaged in preliminary rescue operations at 0500-0900 hours on September 12. Their primary focus included establishing Forward Operating Areas (and the logistical issues of transporting their equipment cache from the Javits Center), the immediate use of canine and technical search equipment, and the cutting of heavy steel debris from the collapsed structures. The distance between the Javits Center BOO and the WTC site ordinarily would have posed no logistical or transportation problem for the TFs, but the damaged infrastructure and the monumental traffic congestion turned what ordinarily would have been 10 to 15 minutes of travel time into more than two hours in some cases.

Later in the day on September 12 and through September 13, PA-TF1 and MA-TF1 were joined by OH-TF1 and IN-TF1.

FEMA USAR assets were assigned to the four sectors established by FDNY (Liberty, West, Church, and Vesey) and used the same geographic divisions and terminology as FDNY for all of their operational planning and documentation. Each of the four TFs was assigned to one of the four operating sectors.

On September 14, the remainder of the four TFs in Phase 1 of deployment (CA-TFs 1, 6, and 7 and MO-TF1) made their way from McGuire AFB to the WTC site by ground transportation. Each TF was assigned to one of the four operating sectors, where they immediately engaged in search and rescue operations along with the four TFs already working in the sectors.

Per standard operating procedures, the USAR TFs worked 24 hours a day; each TF was split into two 31-member operating elements. Each half of the TF worked a 12-hour shift and then was transported back to the Javits Center BOO for rest and rehabilitation. Because of traffic and transportation logistic issues, many TFs worked 16- to 18-hour shifts during the initial days of operations.

The IST prioritized the tasks, which were assigned to the initial operating TFs during regularly scheduled operational briefings. Forward Staging Areas were continually established for each TF.

The IST continued to use the Javits Center as its BOO for the duration of the incident. The operations chief was assigned to the incident command post, located on Duane Street at the FDNY quarters of Engine 7, Ladder 1, and Battalion 1, a few blocks from the WTC site. He worked directly with Battalion Chief John Norman of FDNY's Special Operations Command (the incident's search and rescue manager) to develop strategy and tactics for the USAR TFs to assist FDNY. During his deployment, the operations chief was also assigned by FEMA to work with the City of New York in rebuilding and reestablishing NYC's FEMA Urban Search and Rescue TF. New York's TF1 lost many team leaders and members along with its equipment in the WTC fire and collapse.

An IST operations liaison was assigned to the operations post as the immediate on-site coordinator of FDNY requests for specific USAR assets. The command post was located in the quarters of FDNY Engine 10 and Ladder 10, which was directly across the street from the South Tower and was heavily damaged in the collapse. The majority of the requests were for canine and technical search (with fiber optic cameras) of void spaces and the specially trained structural engineers assigned to the IST and each TF. The engineers assessed and evaluated dangerous void spaces, overhanging hazards, and the structural integrity of collaterally damaged buildings.

The IST Plans Section chief was also assigned to the command post for the duration of his stay. There, he coordinated short- and long-range planning for all federal USAR assets and assisted FDNY with its planning section activities.


One of the most challenging aspects of this incident was the comprehensive effort made to prioritize and document search operations. The 16-acre site, with six stories below ground-level, was the most complex urban area ever encountered for collapse search activities (particularly the search of underground stores, commercial and mechanical/utility spaces, parking garages, and subway/train tunnels). In the early stages of the incident, there was considerable duplication of effort in areas searched, much of it with significant risk to personnel, especially FDNY members. As the results of completed search missions were documented and put together, search strategy and priorities were evaluated.

IST and TF personnel assisted FDNY in establishing a grid system, which divided the entire site into specific 75- 2 75-foot areas and allowed operating personnel to have the same reference points for all operations. Additionally, the use of a standardized search marking system was coordinated with FDNY.

During early search operations, IST personnel and members of several TFs worked with new technology (some of it highly classified) supplied by Department of Defense and Department of Energy experts. USAR personnel conducted field-testing during collapse search operations with new state-of-the-art optical, robotic, and pulse radar equipment. It is expected that much more highly effective technical search equipment will be developed as a result of the information gained from this experience.

Unlike many other incidents in which federal USAR assets have operated, there were no significant concrete breaching/breaking and no extensive shoring operations. USAR rescue specialists assisted FDNY and union iron workers in the massive steel-cutting operations and the significant heavy equipment/rigging operations needed to remove debris and gain access to voids inside the collapsed structures. They also assisted FDNY in physically searching numerous void spaces. Significant belowgrade/confined space operations occurred in the debris abovegrade, as well as into the existing infrastructure underground, where accountability, communications, and the toxic and hazardous flammable atmosphere presented significant operational concerns to personnel.

USAR personnel, along with FDNY Special Operations Command personnel, escorted members of a number of law enforcement agencies, such as the New York Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Secret Service, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the Securities & Exchange Commission, through often unstable collapse voids on belowgrade reconnaissance missions in various sections of the WTC complex. They were searching for evidence necessary to their investigations and the security of underground bank vaults.

Communications, particularly during the first few days, were difficult for federal USAR assets. Because of the distance from the Javits Center BOO to the collapse site, portable radios were not effective on a consistent basis. Many cellular telephone service antennas and landlines were destroyed in the collapse. The lack of operating ability for both hard-line and cellular telephones (and the intermittent availability of satellite telephone communications) hindered operations.

Setting up large hydraulic cranes and their subsequent operations were critical to the technical rescue operation. Significant time was taken to construct base matting and shoring to support the placement of the larger cranes at specific targeted areas so they could remove heavy steel debris; this was crucial to continuing search and rescue operations. Some of the operational strategy and tactics for FDNY and FEMA USAR TFs depended on the timing of crane placement.


As the first TFs continued operations, the IST, in conjunction with FEMA Headquarters, began to plan for on-site relief for TF members and Phase 2 of USAR TF deployment and engagement. Nine additional TFs were assigned to relieve the original TFs on a staggered schedule. On September 19, Florida TF1 and Florida TF2 (FL-TF1 and FL-TF2) arrived by their own ground transportation assets. All remaining TFs in Phases 2 and 3 of operations were transported by military airlift and staged at McGuire AFB before responding to NYC.

Texas TF-1 (TX-TF1) arrived at the BOO on September 19, followed by Utah TF-1 (UT-TF1) on September 20. Arizona TF-1 (AZ-TF1), Washington TF-1 (WA-TF1), California TF-3 (CA-TF3), and California TF-8 (CA-TF8) arrived on September 21. Colorado TF-1 (CO-TF1) was staged at McGuire AFB for three days before moving to NYC and engaging in operations at the site on September 25.


As the IST continued to manage field operations for the TFs engaged in search and rescue operations, IST leaders and members of the IST Operations Section met with FDNY commanders to assess FDNY's ability to provide collapse rescue services to the remainder of NYC. FDNY's Rescue 3 apparatus and collapse unit and equipment were significantly damaged in the collapse.

FEMA USAR personnel implemented the concept of a Rapid Response TF at the WTC incident. CA-TF3 was assigned to add vehicles and supplemental equipment to its standard equipment cache so it could assist and supplement FDNY in delivering technical rescue collapse services to NYC citizens in case of an unrelated building collapse or a secondary terrorist attack.

CA-TF3 and subsequent TFs assigned to this mission were split into two equal elements of 31 members each. The equipment cache and vehicles were divided, and the Rapid Response TF operated out of two locations. One element was available for service from the Javits Center BOO in Manhattan; the second element was quartered at Fort Totten, a military installation in the Borough of Queens. This provided the City of New York with a supplemental local response capability until FDNY Special Operations Command could restore its capabilities for collapse rescue operational equipment.


As the search and rescue operations began a transition from rescue to recovery operations, Phase 3 of USAR TF deployment and engagement was initiated. Phase 2 TFs began to demobilize. Nebraska TF-1 (NE-TF1) arrived in NYC on September 25, followed by Nevada TF-1 (NE-TF1) on September 27. California TF-4 (CA-TF4), the final TF deployed, arrived in New York on September 28. The primary mission for TFs in Phase 3 was to staff the Rapid Response TF elements and to provide technical equipment and support to FDNY at the collapse site. CA-TF4, the last TF engaged on the site, completed operations on October 6.


New Jersey TF1 deployed to NYC on September 11, and Puerto Rico TF-1 deployed on September 13. Both TFs staged alongside FEMA TFs at the Javits Center BOO. Neither was, or is, part of the FEMA USAR National Response System but is modeled after the federal TFs, having a similar roster, equipment, and training. These TFs technically did not come under IST's command and control, but IST coordinated their operations at the request of FDNY.

Twenty FEMA USAR TFs operated at the WTC site over a period of 26 days. During the course of a phased demobilization of the IST, the last IST member departed NYC on October 26.

The skills and experience FEMA USAR IST and TF members gained were invaluable and will be used to help make their local departments and the National Urban Search and Rescue Response System more effective and better prepared for future incidents.

Firefighters and other rescue workers usually respond anonymously to incidents and rarely have personal connections to the victims. Under normal circumstances, New York TF1 would have been activated as a local asset for this incident and would have been the first USAR TF engaged. A significant number of FDNY and NYPD members who were members of New York's FEMA USAR TF1 were killed in the collapse.

Even though TFs responded great distances from all parts of the country, responding USAR personnel knew many of New York-TF1's members because they worked together at previous USAR TF deployments, administrative meetings, and training initiatives. A great irony of the federal USAR response to the WTC collapse was that one of the most influential leaders in the national USAR system, FDNY Deputy Chief Ray Downey, was killed in the collapse and that the system he worked so hard to develop and improve was activated not with him but for him and for so many of his coworkers.

FRED ENDRIKAT, a 28-year veteran of the Philadelphia (PA) Fire Department, currently serves as a lieutenant in Rescue Company 1 and serves as the senior task force leader for Pennsylvania USAR TF1. In November 2001, he was named as the National Urban Search and Rescue TF leaders representative, filling the void left by the tragic loss of Deputy Chief Ray Downey of the Fire Department of New York, who was killed at the World Trade Center (WTC). He is a member of the FEMA National USAR Response System Advisory Committee. Endrikat was deployed to the WTC by the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue National Response System on September 11, 2001, and remained in New York for 40 days. He served as the operations chief for the Incident Support Team, supervising all field operations for FEMA USAR TFs deployed to the WTC site.

Table of Contents

Fire Engineering

Volume 155, Issue 10

    • Volume II: The Ruins and the Rebirth

        I saw the towers fall on television. I grabbed my FEMA USAR gear bag and took my car to Brooklyn, arriving at my fire station at noon. There, a city transport bus, with tools, spare masks, and air cylinders, took me to a staging area at the Manhattan Bridge, from where I rode into Manhattan.
        The scope of rescue operations at the World Trade Center (WTC) was the most comprehensive of any that occurred in this country. The WTC incident was unique in that this was the first time ever that a steel-frame high-rise building had collapsed—anywhere in the world.
        During the first few days of operations at the World Trade Center site, we ran the tool operation out of the Federal Emergency Management Agency cache set up on Chambers Street. After that, we were able to build a cache of equipment by securing items from vendors.
        Lieutenant Colonel John Blitch (ret.), director of the Center for Robotic Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR), requested a team of robot experts and suppliers to assist in search efforts at the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster site. New York City's Office of Emergency Management requested CRASAR's response directly.
        During the first week after September 11, the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) attempted to continue to operate as if the WTC response were a normal multiple-alarm fire, just on a larger scale. The FDNY command post was established under a tent in the middle of West and Vesey streets.
        At 0846 hours, seconds after the first plane hit the World Trade Center (WTC) and the transmission for multiple alarms, the incident command system (ICS) began to take shape. Over the next 13 minutes, command would pass from me, Battalion 1; to then-Deputy Chief Peter Hayden, Division 1; to Citywide Tour Commander Joseph Callan; and then to Chief of Department Peter Ganci.
        MY MISSON ON SEPTEMBER 12 was to assess the scene, report on the status of Special Operations resources, and activate the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Team Task Force tools and equipment cache.
        Terrorists' use of hijacked commercial aircraft as weapons of mass destruction and the simultaneous attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) complex in New York City (NYC) and the Pentagon complex in Arlington, Virginia, on the morning of September 11, 2001, triggered the most significant response in the history of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Urban Search and Rescue National Response System.
        The Fire Department of NEW York not only suffered a staggering loss of personnel on September 11 but also had its apparatus fleet severely impacted. A total of 91 apparatus and vehicles were destroyed, and approximately 130 more were damaged.
        The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) response to the World Trade Center placed our members at the epicenter within moments after the first plane hit the North Tower. The total departmentwide recall placed every member at the site.
        On September 10, 2001, I was relieved from my day tour at the fire station at South Street and Wall Street in Manhattan, where Engine Company 4 and Tower Ladder 15 occupy one side of the bottom three floors of a 40-story office building. Many of the firefighters and officers who reported in that night and some from the next day tour?14 in all?perished at the World Trade Center.
        The Rev. John Delendick, the Rev. Brian Jordan, and the Rev. Everett Wabst were three of the clergymen who devoted their time and offered their faith to survivors of the worst terrorist attack in American history.
        On September 11, 2001, the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) endured an event simply unprecedented in its history. Forced to contend with a terrorist attack of profound proportions, the courageous, intrepid, and extraordinary men and women of FDNY put their own lives on the line as they bravely fought to save the lives of so many others.
        Our detailed examination of the FDNY's response to the World Trade Center attack on September 11 indicates that the Fire Department should focus its efforts to improve preparedness in the following key areas: operations, planning, and management, communications and technology, and family member support U.
        On July 28, 1945, a B-25 bomber accidentally struck the north face of the 79th floor of the Empire State Building, then the tallest building in the world. The plane ripped an 18-foot-wide 2 20-foot-high hole in the outer wall of the building.
      • JET FUEL
        Commercial jet fuel is essentially kerosene that has been hydrotreated to improve its burning properties. Hydrotreatment is a process proprietary to the producer of the fuel utilizing a particular catalyst.
        The Twin Towers were extra- ordinary for their time. Built over a period of years in the late 1960s, they were part of the "new wave" of high-rise construction that used an all-steel frame with lightweight steel truss floors and a central core.
        I investigated the fireproof- ing in both World Trade Center towers over approximately a 10-year period between the early 1990s and early June 2000, the last time I was in the towers.
        Despite its long history as a fire safety measure in buildings, evacuation did not become a prominent topic of discussion until the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC).
        The World Trade Center attacks have given new impetus to the use of elevators during fire emergencies. Had elevators been unavailable to South Tower occupants, far more would have remained in the building when the second plane struck.
        It has been more than a year since the attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC), yet a proper forensic engineering and fire investigation to discover how the WTC towers failed following the impact of the two Boeing 767 aircraft has only just begun. Yes, you read that correctly.
        As the scope of the World Trade Center (WTC) tragedy came into focus in the hours following the attacks, I wondered what happened to the towers. Why did they come down so quickly?
        On September 11, 2001, my world came to an end. I had a sinking feeling that morning that my son, Christian Michael Otto Regenhard, who had graduated from the FDNY Fire Academy just six weeks prior to 9-11, somehow would be involved in this incomprehensible aberration.


        • Volume I: Initial Response

            The terrorist attack on the World Trade Center (WTC) on September 11, 2001, resulting in the loss of 2,819 lives, was the most horrific and diabolical crime ever committed on U.S. soil.
            On the morning of Septem- ber 11, I responded to a call for an odor of gas in the street at West Bernard and Church streets, about 12 blocks from the incident.
            From my office in Lower Manhattan, I heard the plane fly low overhead. I knew it was low, and I knew it was large. The crash shook the entire area.
            The Fire Dispatch Operations Unit of the Fire Department of New York, part of the Bureau of Communications, is responsible for processing alarms and dispatching fire apparatus throughout the city's five boroughs. The unit consists of five central offices, one in each borough.
            We heard and felt the plane hit the Trade Center from our headquarters in Brooklyn. There was a huge column of smoke. Chief of Department Peter Ganci and I drove to the site together to start formulating plans.
            I drove to downtown Manhattan from FDNY headquarters and parked my car right alongside 7 World Trade Center (WTC), north of the North Tower. Other units were coming in on West Street. I wanted to come in from a different angle to have another vantage point.
            The second plane removed all doubt that this was an accident. I took my response car from home to Lower Manhattan and walked north to the World Trade Center.
          • "Field Trip to Hell": A Survivor's Story
            For more than two decades, I have had the privilege of covering New York's Bravest as a photographer for the New York Daily News and as FDNY's first honorary photographer since 1985.
            I responded with my aide by car to the World Trade Center (WTC) site. The North Tower had collapsed minutes before we arrived. When I reached the command post, which was originally on Chambers and West streets, two chiefs were there. One said, "Frank, they're all dead. You've got it."
            I arrived at Broadway and Park Row just as the North Tower had collapsed. Numerous people were fleeing the area south of Chambers Street. I established a command post at Broadway and Vesey streets.
            Shortly after the second plane hit, I could see the towers burning from the Whitestone Bridge, more than 10 miles away. I arrived at Division 14 headquarters in the borough of Queens to get my gear. While there, we received a call from the Fire Operations Center asking for a deputy chief.
            Soon after the collapse, sector commands were established at the southwest portion of the site and the east. Chief Peter Hayden established a west sector and was located in the area of West Street and Liberty Street; this would be the southwest portion of the site. Chief Thomas Haring was located on Church Street on the east.
            My brother, a battalion chief and commander of the 1st Battalion, and I boarded the 9:30 a.m. boat from Staten Island with some FDNY volunteers and a large motorized New York Police Department group. As we sailed toward Manhattan, at about Governors Island, the towers came down.
            From Chief of Department Peter Ganci's office window at Fire Headquarters in Brooklyn, we had a clear view of the North Tower from the east side and could see smoke billowing out from the upper floors after the first plane hit. We all knew we were needed, and a convoy of staff proceeded to the scene, including the on-duty and off-going citywide tour commanders, chief of operations, chief of department, chief of safety, and several members of the commissioner's staff.
          • Anonymous Letter
            As we worked our way up, we did our best to calm the evacuees, asking them to stay to the right and at the same time letting them know they were out of harm's way or would be shortly. Because thousands of civilians were on the same stairways as we were, our ascent was very slow—maybe three floors per minute in the early going.
            Iresponded to the World Trade Center with Engine 9 and Ladder 6. Engine 9 includes Satellite One, a pumper that carries large-diameter hose, a manifold, a deluge monitor, and foam equipment. It is usually dispatched on second alarms.
            As Ladder 6 approached the World Trade Center, we could see large gaping holes in the sides of the North Tower. Heavy smoke was pushing out of every crevice, and we could see fire pushing out of the upper floors. I estimated that there were 20 floors involved.
          • The Search for Ladder 6
            West Street was not a street anymore: It was a debris field that resembled a metal scrap yard in some areas and a mat of steel beams in others. Every once in a while, you would see an FDNY apparatus protruding from the debris.
            As part of the EMS signal 10-40 response (major response to an aircraft crash incident), the EMS patrol supervisor for lower Manhattan responded from the quarters of EMS Battalion 4 on South Street. He intended to establish the preplanned staging area but found that the location was inaccessible: Victims and debris filled the street.
          • EMS: NYTF-1 RESPONSE
            I responded to the World Trade Center (WTC) as a medical specialist with New York Task Force 1 (NYTF-1) and spent two months at the site as deputy chief of EMS operations.
            On the morning of September 11, members of the Jersey City (NJ) Fire Department (FDJC) became involved in three major operations directly related to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center (WTC). Since Jersey City is the closest and largest city to New York's lower Manhattan, the FDJC initially sent a mutual-aid assignment to the WTC at the official request of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey emergency services.
            Personnel working in the Jersey City (NJ) Fire Department (FDJC) headquarters were eyewitnesses to the horrific terrorist attack on the World Trade Center (WTC) twin towers on 9-11. Jersey City is located on the western bank of the Hudson River, immediately across from New York City and is directly connected to lower Manhattan by the Holland Tunnel and to the base of the WTC by the Port Authority Trans Hudson (PATH) subway tunnel.
          • BODY RETRIEVAL
            I offered my assistance at the World Trade Center through a representative of the Bergen County (NJ) Medical Examiner's Office. Along with another funeral home employee, Keith Morgan, I arrived at the site. We put on coveralls and met one of the New York City medical examiners, who told us that we would be retrieving bodies.

        9/11: 10 YEARS LATER A TOWER REBUILDS. ORI, RYAN // Crain's Chicago Business;9/5/2011, Vol. 34 Issue 36, p0001
        The article reports on the recovery of business operations at Sears Tower in Chicago, Illinois. It mentions the challenges encountered by the building's administration after the terrorists' attack on September 11, 2001. In addition, it denotes the return of its normal tourism-related activities...

      • Suites in sky not sky-high. Schroedter, Andrew // Crain's Chicago Business;11/29/2010, Vol. 33 Issue 48, p21
        The article reports that OfficeLinks, the business center in Chicago, Illinois-based Willis Tower, has reduced its office rents to combat a soft economy and competition from rivals.

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