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Reminiscences of George Polarek : oral history, 2002.

Creator: Polarek, George
Project: September 11, 2001 response and recovery oral history project.
(see all project interviews)
Phys. Desc. :transcript: 61 p. sound recordings: 2 sound disc (89 min.) : digital ; 3 in.
Location: Columbia Center for Oral History
Full CLIO record >>

Biographical Note

World Trade Center Incident Commander, Salvation Army.

Scope and Contents

Born in Hartford, CT; background: reminiscence of parents meeting at Salvation Army; September 11th: tour of Ground Zero; post-9/11 focus of Salvation Army: early mobile kitchen, mayor's Office of Emergency Management, Pier 92, donations management, support of Wal-Mart, difficulty discerning scale of crisis, operation details, twenty-four-hour social services, food service, respite work, streamline work, serving as safety net for the community, praise of Red Cross and FEMA, Family Action Center, use of local economy for food service in recovery efforts, medical examiner's office, challenges of using common database for services agencies, long-term impact on organization, reminiscence of Mayor Giuliani and Governor Ptaki: World Trade Center site work: finding body parts, rancid smells, informal counseling, spiritual counseling, professional counselors certified in crisis stress management, preparing volunteers, creating intensive care partners, on-site contamination hazard, site of horror and healing, memorial service at Ground Zero; Fresh Kills: Southern Baptists' involvement, lessons from Ground Zero implemented at Fresh Kills Medical Examiner's Office, intensity of seeing mounds of body parts, last rites for body parts, bio-safety, surreal experiences, religion, spirituality.


Access Conditions

Copyright by The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, 2006. Permission required to cite, quote, and reproduce. Contact repository for information.

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