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WASHINGTON, DC In response to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has responded by contributing equipment, emergency medical technicians and other assistance to New York City in support of rescue efforts. One of DOE's nearby facilities, Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, dispatched Fire Department personnel, all trained in confined-space rescue, as well as truck and heavy rescue equipment and several electrical generators to New York City, in an attempt to help.
Another DOE facility, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in Plainsboro, N.J., sent four emergency services officers to the Meadowlands Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey, to work in the triage area.
"Department of Energy personnel, like so many others throughout the nation, wanted to offer whatever help they could to try to ease the suffering in New York,"said Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham. "DOE teams are working side-by-side with other Americans to provide whatever assistance we can, and as soon as we can, to help New York overcome this terrible tragedy."
In conjunction with Federal Emergency Management Agency staff, DOE employees assisted in the search for survivors by using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) equipment, adapted with motion detection applications, to aid in the search for survivors.
Other DOE teams operated with sophisticated, remotely-operated equipment, including infrared cameras, robotic equipment and fiber optic cameras, to aid the search for victims and evidence. The equipment allows rescue personnel to see into confined spaces and into areas that are too small or too dangerous for humans to enter, and can transport and manipulate tools in these small or hazardous spaces.
Other DOE personnel have helped evaluate the movement of critical oil resources into New York Harbor and are reviewing tug and barge availability for oil movement to upstate New York. DOE has offered key equipment to assist in the NYMEX re-opening, and is coordinating with the Coast Guard and local harbors as they evaluate oil supplies up and down the East Coast.
Still others are assisting the FBI in reconstructing the photo ID system used at the World Trade Center.
DOE is also working with the electricity industry to ensure that appropriate security measures are being taken at its facilities, and coordinating with the Corps of Engineers and the electricity industry to restore power as soon as possible and provide portable generators and fuel supplies to power the generators on an immediate basis.
As news of the attack spread, worldwide energy markets responded immediately. To calm fears and ensure that accurate information was being provided, DOE's Energy Information Agency (EIA) on September 12 released an oil market assessment showing that overall U.S. and global oil supplies appeared to have been minimally impacted. EIA continues to work closely with State Energy Offices in assessing the gasoline supply and price situation on a state-by-state basis, so that citizens don't have to encounter the additional stress of gasoline supply fears.
"Earlier this week we suffered a great loss as a nation," said Secretary Abraham. "But as a nation, we are working together, rebuilding and redirecting our energies to assist those most in need. I am humbled and honored that so many DOE employees, like their friends and neighbors throughout the nation, have shown what we're made of."
DOE employees have also generously donated funds to assist New York City residents in the process of rebuilding their lives. In one instance, BSA, a DOE contractor, offered to match up to $50,000 employee contributions to the United Way and the New York Community Trust "September 11th Fund," established to help victims of Tuesday's terrorist attacks.
Other DOE employees are collecting donations for the Federal Employee Education and Assistance (FEEA) World Trade Center/Pentagon Fund and, like their counterparts throughout the United States, donating blood and financial assistance to the American Red Cross.
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