Firefighting, Hazmat

New York City Brings FDNY WTC Rescue Effort Back to Full Strength

New York, November 19, 2001-New York City has taken steps to ensure that victims of the World Trade Center disaster will be removed from the remains of the towers with dignity.

City officials, together with retired Fire Department of New York Firefighter Lee Ielpi, evaluated the site and decided to increase the number of firefighters at the scene to 75 per shift, about what it was before the city reduced that number two weeks ago.

Operating procedures at the site have also been altered slightly. The group of firefighters, aided by 50 officers from the New York Police Department and Port Authority Police, will now work in a more organized fashion. “Spotters” will peer into the moving rubble for remains and will wear high-visibility vests. Each group of workers will be assigned a specific area to patrol instead of wandering around the site.

City officials also decided to reduce the number of large earth movers on the site to prevent bodies or parts of bodies from being lifted and dumped into piles of rubble that are sent to Staten Island for sorting.