A relatively minor ferry crash at the tip of Manhattan is another reminder of how ill prepared the city is for a major emergency. WSJ reports:
After the Seastreak Wall Street ferry smashed into a Lower Manhattan dock Wednesday morning, first responders rushed dozens of people who were hurt to a scattering of hospitals where nearly all were treated for minor injuries.The sooner people realize that government won't be there for the big catastrophes, the better, then private sector responses will emerge. Bloomberg isn't just creating a nanny state in NYC, which is bad enough, he is creating a drunken nanny state that won't be able to function during peak emergencies.
But one passenger suffered serious head and face trauma and had to be taken 6 miles north for treatment—past the partially operational Bellevue Hospital Center and to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital on the Upper East Side.
With Bellevue, at 26th Street and First Avenue, closed to trauma patients because of damage sustained during superstorm Sandy, NewYork-Presbyterian—40 blocks north—is the hospital nearest to Lower Manhattan that can treat severe traumatic injuries requiring surgery.
That, some medical and disaster-preparedness experts say, could hamper the medical response to a Lower Manhattan incident that looked less like Wednesday's crash and more like the one involving a Staten Island ferry in 2003 that left 11 dead and 70 injured.
"We're playing the odds here and New York is really in a significantly precarious situation right now with regards to its ability to take care of large numbers of people with serious trauma," said Irwin Redlener, the director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University. "Especially if that trauma occurs in Lower Manhattan."[...]
Three years ago, authorities would have had another option: St. Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village, which treated many of those injured in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But after St. Vincent's closed down in 2010, Bellevue became the only hospital equipped to treat serious trauma—known as a level-one trauma center—in Manhattan below 68th Street.