Emergency Personnel Face Challenges In Big DC Crowd

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

With a crowd as big as the one on Washington's National Mall, it's inevitable that health problems have become an issue and medical personnel have been challenged already.

Washington, D.C., fire and EMS department spokesman Alan Etter says the congestion has given medical personnel trouble trying to get to people quickly. But Etter says everyone who has needed help has eventually received treatment despite "very challenging" crowd conditions.

Etter says that between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m., the fire department responded to more than 60 calls from people falling down or complaining of the cold. About 20 people have been hospitalized.

Elsewhere in Washington, a woman has been hospitalized after falling onto the subway tracks. A Metro spokeswoman says it's not clear if crowding on subway platforms was to blame for the fall. But stations are extremely crowded and Metro is advising passengers to stand at least two feet away from the platform edge for safety.

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