Fire EMS

Study identifies WTC evacuation risk factors

Issue 4 and Volume 162.

A study, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and conducted by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, has identified some factors that affected evacuation from the World Trade Center (WTC) on September 11, 2001. The key risk factors were associated with length of time to initiate evacuation, length of time to complete evacuation, and incidence of injury, according to a Mailman School release. The study listed the following factors that delayed evacuation of the WTC: a lack of awareness and experience in evacuation procedures; making phone calls; seeking co-workers; personal concerns about one’s own ability (e.g., health and stamina) to descend the multiple flights of stairs; workers waiting for supervisors’ permission to leave; lack of appropriate footwear; confusion about the locations of the staircases and where they ended; and periodic congestion on stairs. The study employed participatory action research (PAR) methodology to identify individual,…

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