Technical Rescue

THE PENTAGON ATTACK ON 9-11: VA TF-1 URBAN SEARCH AND RESCUE RESPONSE

Issue 11 and Volume 155.

BY ROBERT DUBÉ AND BOB ZOLDOS Command and control of a major structure collapse are very daunting tasks. Massive loss of life, precarious remaining structures, overtaxed local resources, and a panicked public make the response to this type of emergency quite challenging. Add in one of the largest government buildings in the United States; multiple jurisdiction complications of the largest scale; and the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and the Coast Guard, and you have an introduction to the Urban Search and Rescue response to the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Local Virginia fire units from Arlington County, Fort Myer, the City of Alexandria, and Fairfax County were immediately dispatched (through automatic-aid agreements) after the Boeing 757 was flown into the Pentagon’s E-ring. Arlington County units rescued several people from inside the burning building. The building burned intensely for approximately 20 minutes and then suddenly, and without warning, collapsed. All…

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