The events of September 11th 2001 have affected and changed us all in some way forever. Most of us were shocked and horrified at how such a thing could occur. For many our next feeling was probably anger and a desire to strike back. Then came an overwhelming desire to help in some way.
In watching the news we noticed that people from all over the world showed support and reached out for those most affected. As chiropractors many in our profession wanted to help in the best way we knew how. It was this desire to do something and help that lead to an amazing outreach by chiropractors in both New York and in Washington.
At both the site of the World Trade centre and at the Pentagon in Washington DC chiropractors set up help stations to adjust the firefighters, police and rescue workers who were on site at ground zero. At these locations chiropractors provided round the clock chiropractic care free of charge to all who requested it. Thousands of relief workers responded as each station was continually busy with help being provided to those who were themselves helping.
In Washington at the US Pentagon, the International Chiropractors Association was asked to provide chiropractic services to Pentagon rescue and security personnel. Immediately chiropractors started working in three shifts to provide assistance.
To assist the rescue workers at the Pentagon, “Camp Unity” was set up using an extensive tent space provided by the Public Safety (police, fire and rescue) chaplains of greater Washington. In Camp Unity more than two dozen chiropractors were working in long shifts to adjust all who need chiropractic care at the site. “Our patients include military personnel of all ranks and from all services, law enforcement, fire and rescue units on duty and other volunteers working with the Red Cross and Salvation Army,” said Dr. Coralee Van Egmond a local chiropractor. “The response has been tremendous and reflects the vital need for the unique services doctors of chiropractic provide. In sometimes harsh conditions, our chiropractors have given care to as many as 300 people a day, and have worked ten and twelve hour shifts that last long into the night and early morning hours.”
One of the chiropractors giving his time at the New York site, Dr. Robert Davis, summed up his experience by saying. “One of the firemen I adjusted told me the best thing anyone can do to help all the rescue workers is to just support them and…Pray for them.”
To read more stories of chiropractors involved in helping the rescue workers please visit, http://www.wcanews.com/archives/2001/oct/oct0101a.htm and http://www.chiropractic.org/news/disaster_relief.htm.