Sunday, April 01, 2012

Staged New Jersey Triage Meant to Impress the Dustless Deboarders

Did they trot out the semi-nude victims seen in this New Jersey Star-Ledger photograph from some temporary training-shed hideaway to meet up with each inbound ferry, or did the group just lie there in the hot sun all morning? How come this lot of departing commuters appear dust-free and composed,  if both the towers have already come down?  The group couldn't have been on the boat crossing the river since before 9:59 a.m. until after10:28 a.m., so where did they spend the Time of Dust? Uptown? And is the one walking-wounded in the white-blanket covering being guided by two volunteer good Samaritans---would that be just one set per shipload?

And what is that open cube-framed construction by which it appears both the Ultimate Victims of Ground Zero, and the retiring ferry depart? If not a rose-arbor, or temporary bandstand for summer concerts, it would seem to be the point of landing and disembarkation. However, the modern Google view shows a perpendicular pier named the Paulus Hook Ferry Dock, which the New York Waterway Ferry Company approaches not laterally, but head-on, parallel to the bulwark and promenade where the victims are laid out, even though such an approach does not make for as dynamic and understandable an action scene as witnessed from this spot.

It's proving difficult for me to verify whether the present pier was in place in late 2001, although it was integral to Goldman Sachs "Venice strategy," wherein back-office employees were to be housed in a building then under construction at 30 Hudson Street, just south of here, with the executive, sales, and trading forces housed on the Manhattan side directly opposite. But since the iron-railed promenade, surfaced in a colored-block pattern seen in the photograph from 9/11, is the same as we see in the Google view, I should think these edge-water features were completed simultaneously, and likely with public dollars as a stimulus for the development underway.

What looks to be an elevated deck, or grate, jutting in a bit at the right of the picture is a mystery. In the Google view, the place of triage can be located with precision, and while the spot from whence the photographer shot the picture is obscured by a row of trees edging a terrace raised several feet higher, since the image is taken from an artistically high vantage point that would explain it. We can even make out the two manhole covers, in a specific relationship to each other, and by those references this object, with bit of trimming at the bottom, is clearly overlapping upon, intruding or blocking public property.

One must ask why the crowd of survivors is spontaneously moving north along the river, and not directly east on Sussex Street, which is straight ahead when exiting the ferry and the quickest route to get to available transportation. Unless, of course, Essex street had been blocked off for use by emergency vehicles  meant to attend on the triage of wounded; in which case, laying victims out in the open instead of leeward in whatever shelter existed on the south side of Essex Street where the ambulances were assembling, moving the scene of triage further away, to a narrow point you've now created by which must pass those who are walking away, while obligating them to witness it closely, while they play bit parts in documentary photographs, which happen to have perfectly framed backdrops of smoking towers and churning tugboats, can only be called artful.

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The September 12, 2001, Star-Ledger published a second, similar image on page 18, albeit within the 29-minute period between when the first and second tower fell.. Here an older looking ferry looks like it's coming straight on into the square cube to off-load through its front, or perhaps it's really a side-wheeling Mississippi paddle-boat. Here the cube looks like some type of floating industrial pontoon The uniformed authority figure does appear to be giving directions that the evacuees move north, pushing them away from the river. They all look as trim and tidy as the folks in the first image, while some interesting things appear to be happening in the smoke pattern emanating from the North Tower, whose south side seems to be lathering, or experiencing static cling.

Wednesday, September 12, 2001, The [NJ] Star-Ledger,

The red-color triage mats could indicate "Airway obstruction, cardiorespiratory failure, significant external hemorrhage, shock, sucking chest wound, burns of face or neck." Only black is worse, there you only get pain meds until you die. I'd take a sucking chest wound any day, to stay away from a black mat.

For the full series of 51 dust-free peopled images, which does not include the two published above, go to: 9/11 Photos from The Jersey Journal
NY Waterway ferries transported the injured to a triage that was set up at the Colgate ferry stop at Exchange Place in Jersey City across the Hudson River from Lower Manhattan where smoke billows after the collapse of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11. Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal
Emergency workers treat the injured ferried in from Lower Manhattan on 9/11 at a triage at Exchange Place in Jersey City. Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal
Emergency workers help the injured ferried in from Lower Manhattan on 9/11 at a triage set up at Exchange Place in Jersey City. Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal
Emergency workers help the injured ferried in from Lower Manhattan on 9/11 at a triage set up at Exchange Place in Jersey City. Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal

People escaping from Lower Manhattan on 9/11 were ferried over to Exchange Place in Jersey City. Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal
People who evacuated buildings and who were ferried over from Lower Manhattan crowded the streets around Exchange Place in Jersey City on 9/11. Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal
With smoke billowing from the World Trade Center behind them, Police Officer Elba D'Aiuto carries a baby having difficulty breathing who was transported by ferry from Manhattan to the Jersey City waterfront on 9/11. Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal

A New York City firefighter who was injured in the 9/11 attacks was brought across the river to Jersey City via ferry and was treated at the Jersey City Medical Center. Bill Bayer/The Jersey Journal

This series was home to this famous image:
People gather in downtown Jersey City on 9/11 to watch as heavy smoke rises from the New York City skyline after the attacks on the World Trade Center twin towers. Elizabeth Lara-Collado/The Jersey Journal

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