Posted November 18, 2015

Reflecting on a disaster

Temple student and first responder Danielle Thor looks back on the aftermath of the Amtrak derailment.

Danielle Thor on campus with the bicycle she uses as an EMT.
Emma Lee/WHYY
Danielle Thor pedaled her EMS bicycle from Main Campus to Temple University Hospital to treat victims of the Amtrak derailment.
Last May, Danielle Thor, Class of 2016, was working on campus even though the semester had recently ended. She is director of the student-run Temple University Emergency Medical Services—a group of volunteer EMTs who respond to medical emergencies on or near Temple’s Main Campus. She and her fellow volunteers were arranging furniture in a conference room when they learned of the nearby Amtrak derailment. 
Without hesitation, Thor hopped on her bicycle—the group travels to calls on fully equipped EMS bikes—and made her way up Broad St. She arrived at Temple University Hospital, where a significant number of crash victims were taken for treatment. Thor described the scene as “organized chaos,” but her EMT training kicked in and she helped assess and treat traumatic injuries from the derailment and triage the usual flow of emergency room traffic. 
Six months after the crash, Thor reflected on the experience in an interview with Philadelphia’s WHYY-FM.
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