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New York Downtown Hospital's Response to September 11, 2001

The Ground Zero Hospital

New York Downtown Hospital's Response to September 11, 2001

And its History of Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response


New York Downtown Hospital is the only hospital in Lower Manhattan and the first responder to nearly every emergency in the area. Indeed, one of the Hospital's founding institutions, Beekman Street Hospital, was created by a group of concerned financiers in response to a terrorist bombing directed at the JP Morgan building on Wall Street in the early 1920s.


Downtown Hospital was the first hospital to respond to the tragedy of September 11, 2001, as well as to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and to the 1975 bombing of Fraunces Tavern, an historic and popular meeting place in Lower Manhattan.


On a typical day, the emergency center at Downtown Hospital treats 5 to 10 patients per hour; on September 11th the emergency room helped 175 patients an hour. In recognition of the most extensive disaster response ever undertaken by a hospital, the Mayor of New York proclaimed March 11, 2002 as “Downtown Hospital Day.”



New York Downtown Hospital's Response to September 11, 2001


* Treated over 1,500 patients, including 269 firefighters, police, and rescue workers

* Treated 1,200 on the first day; 350 patients in the first two hours alone

* Delivered medical aid, prescriptions, and food to hundreds of stranded seniors

* Provided this extraordinary disaster response despite the Hospital's loss of electricity, steam, gas, phone and computer services, and dangerously reduced water pressure



Downtown Hospital was one of the first hospitals to implement the Incident Command System, a nationally recognized system for emergency management. The Hospital also spearheads an annual international symposium on emergency preparedness and disaster response. Experts from around the country and the globe attend the symposium to present and learn about the latest developments in the field of readiness and first response to large-scale emergencies, such as natural disasters and terrorist attacks.


In addition, Downtown Hospital created the first Disaster Response Volunteer Corps, a skilled team of volunteers specially trained to assist during terrorist attacks and other disaster or emergency situations.


Today, Downtown Hospital is a first-responder of the highest caliber and a leader in the field of emergency preparedness.

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