Rescue and recovery effort after the September 11, 2001 attacks

From Academic Kids

Sept. 11, 2001 attacks
Background history
September 11, 2001
Rest of September
Missing people
Foreign casualties
Rescue workers
Hijacked Airlines
American Airlines Flight 11
United Airlines Flight 175
American Airlines Flight 77
United Airlines Flight 93
Sites of destruction
World Trade Center
The Pentagon
Government response
World political effects
World economic effects
Airport security
Closings and cancellations
Audiovisual entertainment
Rescue and recovery effort
Financial assistance
Memorials and services
Slogans and terms
Misinformation and rumors
U.S. Congress Inquiry
9/11 Commission

The area surrounding the World Trade Center became the site of the greatest number of casualties and missing, and physical destruction. This region became known in the ensuing days as "ground zero".



New York City firefighters rushed to the World Trade Center minutes after the first plane struck the north tower. Chief brass set up a command center in the lobby as firefighters climbed up the stairs. FDNY deployed 200 units to the site.

Many firefighters arrived at the World Trade Center without meeting at the command centers.

Problems with radio communication caused commanders to lose contact with many of the firefighters who went into the buildings; those firefighters were unable to hear evacuation orders.

There was practically no communication with the police, who had helicopters at the scene.

When the towers collapsed, hundreds were killed or trapped within.

Meanwhile, average response times to fires elsewhere in the city that day only rose by one minute, to 5.5 minutes.

The other firefighters worked alternating 24-hour shifts.

Firefighters came from hundreds of miles around New York City, including numerous volunteer units in small-town New York.

Doctors, EMTs, etc.

Doctors, nurses, medical students, paramedics, EMTs, and counselors quickly arrived at the site of the collapse to set up multiple small staging areas and triage centers in the streets surrounding the World Trade Center site. Medical teams from the local neighborhoods, surrounding boroughs, and visiting medical staff worked to set up and staff these multiple triage sites, as guided by FDNY officials. As the afternoon wore on, these triage sites were slowly closed and the triage efforts were consolidated at the Chelsea Piers.


NYPD helicopters were soon at the scene, reporting on the status of the burning buildings.

Many New York City and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police were killed in the collapse of the towers.

The NYPD worked alternating 12-hour shifts in the rescue and recovery effort.


Starting on September 12, engineers organized by the Structural Engineers Association of New York were working on site for the New York City Department of Design and Construction, reviewing stability of the rubble, evaluating the safety of hundreds of buildings near the site, and designing support for the cranes brought in to clear the debris.


Ironworkers, some even visiting from other countries, arrived on scene soon after the collapse to offer their services to help rescue victims. Unfortunately, the immediate danger of fire and smoke kept many from helping.


By Friday, 9/14/2001, 9000 tons in 1500 truckloads of debris have been brought to the Fresh Kills landfill. By Monday afternoon, 40,000 tons have been taken out.

American Red Cross

See Donations.

National Guard


Volunteers began arriving at the World Trade Center soon after the towers collapsed. Those who arrived in the early hours helped in any way they could, including college students who gave out water to the rescue workers; later unsolicited volunteers were turned away. People with particular skills, including construction, demolition, medical training, and mental health conseling, came to assist throughout the first few days; a team of disaster relief specialists even came from France. By late Friday, September 14, there was essentially no more room for volunteers, though people had arrived from as far off as California, waiting in lines outside the relief administration center at Javits Center.

American Red Cross

Numbers from the American Red Cross, as of November 19, 2001: 11,549,338 meals/snacks have been served. There have been 50,423 total disaster workers, 48,491 of them volunteers. See also Assistance.

Monetary Cost

Estimated total costs, as of 10/3/2001:

$5 billion for debris removal
$14 billion for reconstruction
$3 billion in overtime payments to uniformed workers
$1 billion for replacement of destroyed vehicles and equipment
(one Fire Department accident response vehicle costs $400,000)

See also: "War on Terrorism" -- U.S. invasion of Afghanistan -- 2001 anthrax attack -- World Trade Center -- The Pentagon -- New York City -- Washington, D.C. -- AA Flight 11 -- UA Flight 75 -- AA Flight 77 -- UA Flight 93 -- U.S. Department of Defense -- Operation Bojinka -- terrorism -- domestic terrorism -- Osama bin Laden -- Taliban -- Islamism -- Afghanistan -- collective trauma -- September 11

External links



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