More than 750 NYPD officers respond via air, sea, land to downed flight
Ed Note: PoliceOne Aviation Columnist Kenneth Solosky, a veteran NYPD helicopter pilot in his own right, provides his assessment of the heroic emergency response of police and firefighters to near-miraculous ditching of Flight 1549 into the icy waters of the Hudson River yesterday.
The NYPD’s Special Operations Division spearheaded the response with units from the Emergency Services Unit, Aviation Unit and Harbor Unit. Within minutes, specialized units from ESU were on scene. These highly trained officers are EMT’s, SCUBA divers, small boat handlers, and experts with all of their rescue tools. The NYPD Aviation Unit’s Air Sea Rescue helicopter responded and deployed their SCUBA divers to commence an interior cabin search for any passengers. Aviation Units from the Nassau County Police department and New Jersey State Police responded and were medevac capable. Numerous boats form the Harbor Unit responded to help ferry any passengers and secure the boat.
In addition to patrol units, the NYPD mobilized their respective Boro “Task Forces” as well as their Hercules and Critical Response Vehicle teams. In a matter of minutes over 750 NYPD officers were assigned and “on scene.”
The response from the FDNY was equally rapid and impressive. Units form their marine division, rescue; truck and engine companies responded and in cooperation with the NYPD, helped to assist in the rescue. Including both agencies, there were more than 1,000 rescuers on scene within a matter of 15 minutes.
The New Jersey side of the river also saw an enormous response, with multiple fire, police and EMS units responding. Within sixty minutes, there was literally thousands of responders were “on scene” and ready to assist.
The Incident Command Post was quickly established and all local, state and federal agencies were responding as planned. Fortunately, the large amount of commercial ferry boats was quickly on scene and was able to remove the vast majority of the passengers to both sides of the Hudson River for evaluation and treatment.
The NY/NJ Metro Region Response
As part of the emergency response plan, local trauma centers and specialized care centers such as pediatrics and burn centers were “on alert” and ready to receive any accident victims.
By all accounts the US Airways flight crew deserves tremendous accolades and kudos. There actions simply saved everyone’s life, making for a very happy ending to what have could have been a major aircraft disaster. Congratulations to all involved on a job well done!
|Back to previous page|