Rescuers in the Rubble: Recalling the Surfside Tragedy

1 min read  |  January 04, 2022  | 

It was in the wee hours of Thursday, June 24, 2021, when Vincent Torres, emergency management director for the University of Miami Health System, was wakened by a phone call telling him that most of the 12-story, 136-unit Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Florida, had collapsed, and that Miami-Dade Fire Rescue had activated level 5 Mass Casualty Incident protocols.

“It changed me forever,” says Brandon Parker, M.D., a critical care surgeon at UHealth. “It was always our objective to bring people out alive, and that’s what kept us on the debris pile even when we were told to come off. At times, the family members of the victims were allowed on the scene. We were able to see and hear their anguish, and that drove us to search even harder.”

Read the full article in the latest edition of University of Miami Medicine magazine.

UM Medicine magazine

The Fall 2021 issue of University of Miami Medicine magazine profiles promising discoveries by Miller School researchers and how U Innovation is helping to develop them into startup companies. Additional articles explore the science of sleep, as well as efforts to reduce disparities in cancer research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Read more.

Tags: condo collapse, emergency response, Miami magazine, Miami Medicine magazine, Surfside, Vincent Torres

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