The injured were rushed to medical centers in Hoboken and Jersey City. NJTV News Correspondent Erin Delmore is standing by at Jersey City Medical Center and spoke with Anchor Mary Alice Williams and Correspondent Michael Hill.
Hill: What are you seeing there?
Delmore: The security director at Jersey City Medical Center told me that the hospital is back to normal operations. As the regional trauma center in the area it received most of the critical cases today — 66 in total. Fifty-three of those people were able to get here on their own. A spokesperson for the hospital told me that means that they came either via an NJ Transit bus, some people took themselves, but he told me that those 53 people have been discharged. Thirteen remain in what he called guarded care which means that they’re being monitored and watched probably for the next few hours.
Williams: What did the emergency response look like?
Delmore: Well reporters were stationed about a half mile north of the terminal and from there we could see ambulances, we could see stretchers and a couple of tents. I did confirm with a spokesman from Jersey City Medical Center that that hospital plus EMS volunteers from Hoboken and Jersey City were gathered there. They were ready to treat people and triage them on the spot. I also spoke with an NJ Transit worker who was in the ticket area today. He described to me a truly horrifying scene. He told me he saw bright lights coming toward him, then just heard a bang. I spoke with him about four hours after that crash occurred. I asked him well what have you been doing for the rest of this day and afternoon and he said in that time he was being treated, he was being looked at, they wanted to make sure that before everyone walked off the scene they were in good shape.
Hill: Erin, was the hospital prepared for this?
Delmore: The hospital was prepared. This hospital, along with others in the region, and some EMS and ambulance companies routinely drills with NJ Transit. They run these drills about once a year, a spokesman told me. They’re prepared for people to come into the hospital under a variety of transportation related circumstances. He told me that that’s how they knew that they would be ready for this day and he said preparedness was key. He told me he’s proud of how the hospital handled all these trauma patients. They went and they had the trauma wing available and they set up an extra triage room in the cafeteria where they were able to see patients and expedite them through the process.