(SIOUX CITY, IA) - When talking about the Boston Marathon explosions, Siouxland is no stranger to disaster. United Flight 232 crashed in Sioux City on July 19, 1989.
First responders and volunteers from all around worked together to save 184 people. Sioux City and surrounding towns had a heads up on Flight 232's trouble that day. But it's the communication and preparation both Sioux City and Boston share that saved lives.United Flight 232 crashed into the airport runway at almost double the speed required for safe landing.
Witnesses that day said it looked like no one would survive. But emergency crews were ready. While 112 people died, 184 lived. "What we tend to think is people will run away from trouble and it's really not the case. The good samaritans do still exist in our country," said Gary Brown, Director of Woodbury County Emergency Services. Boston was ready, too. But unlike Flight 232, the community didn't know it yet. "I can tell you that the country has been preparing for this day with advanced level in command training, with disaster medical response training. That included dealing with patients that had been exposed to bombs," said Brown. At Mercy Medical Center, Dr. Tom Benzoni said the way Siouxland handled United Flight 232 is a perfect example. "It all comes down to people being able to communicate to each other, sit down at the table, put their personalities and prejudices aside for a few minutes for the greater good that they're working on," said Dr. Benzoni. Both disasters equipped with people prepared to make a move at a moment's notice. "The ability for people to think very, very quickly and very clearly - this is what I need to do and right now for this person to save this person's life and keep them alive long enough to get them to the surgeons," said Dr. Benzoni. "It's almost overwhelming when the nation comes to help," said Brown. America will continue to lend a helping hand as investigators fight for justice in Boston.
The Wall Street Journal tweeted that President Obama will visit Boston on Thursday and attend an interfaith memorial service. Speaking of services, Brown said those are important for the community to heal over time.