In New York City, Elevators Become an Option in Emergency Evacuations

David W. Dunlap NY Times

“In case of fire, use elevators.”

It sounds like apostasy, as if a lifetime’s indoctrination had suddenly been invalidated.

But it is exactly the instruction that office workers in New York’s tallest skyscrapers may receive in coming years. The Fire, Buildings and City Planning Departments are writing rules to govern what are called occupant-evacuation elevators — cars that can, in special circumstances, be used to move people down in an emergency.

Four World Trade Center and 1 World Trade Center, left. The terrorist attack on the twin towers in 2001 was one of two big events that set the stage for a sea change in evacuation philosophy. Credit Karsten Moran for The New York Times

Four World Trade Center and 1 World Trade Center, left. The terrorist attack on the twin towers in 2001 was one of two big events that set the stage for a sea change in evacuation philosophy. Credit Karsten Moran for The New York Times

That would upend decades of codes and practices based on the notion that elevators are perilous and undependable in fires or other emergencies. Experts who have spent years studying building evacuations believe that approach has become outmoded and is in itself potentially dangerous as extremely tall skyscrapers increasingly pierce the New York skyline.

“We have to find a better way to evacuate people from high-rise buildings, including people with disabilities,” Edward T. Ferrier, the deputy assistant chief of fire prevention, said. He added that the Fire Department’s attitude about occupant-evacuation elevators was “positive.” Though there are none in New York, they have been installed in a number of towers overseas. Read More »

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2 non-profits collecting donations to assist families displaced by Rossville fire

Mira Wassef Staten Island Advance

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Two local charities are asking Staten Islanders to assist the families displaced by the four-alarm fire that ripped through townhouses in Rossville Monday afternoon.

The Carl V. Bini Memorial Fund has created a Rossville fire fund with the hopes of raising $10,000 to help the six families displaced by the fire. Read More »

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Paid Research Studies for Young WTC Health Registrees

The Broadsheet Daily

If you lived, worked, or attended school in lower Manhattan during 9/11, are 25 years old or younger, and have enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Registry, you may be eligible for two separate research studies being conducted by the New York University (NYU) and Columbia University.

Residents after the attacks. Photo Daily Broadsheet

Residents after the attacks. Photo Daily Broadsheet

The two studies are as follows:

  1. The Stress and Well-Being Study, which focuses on adolescents and young adults who were 0-12 years of age on 9/11, is being conducted by Columbia University Medical Center in collaboration with the WTC Health Registry.  Participants will be asked about their health, mental health and well-being, including how they deal with stress in their daily lives.  A parent or guardian will also be interviewed if the youth is currently under 18 years of age, as well as parents or guardians of those over 18, with the youth’s consent.  Parents or guardians are asked about their own experiences on 9/11, including which coping skills were employed and what disaster planning is now in place.  Study interviewers are available seven days a week, including nights and holidays, and go to the participant’s home, or to another convenient place, to conduct the interview(s), and each participant is compensated.
  1.  The World Trade Center Adolescent Health Study, conducted by the NYU School of Medicine in collaboration with the Registry: This study will help fill in the knowledge gap about post-9/11 adolescent physical health, and will also give participants the opportunity to learn about their lung and heart health in a non-invasive and unique way. Appointments are available five days a week, including Saturdays and week nights.  Parents will also answer a short survey and will be paid as well.

Read More »

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