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Emergency Radio Transmissions From Boston Marathon Bombings Show Quick, Efficient Response

By Jonathan Elias
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BOSTON (CBS) – We’re getting a new perspective on the first seconds just after the bombs went off at the Boston Marathon finish line from some of the first responders.

Today, Boston Emergency Medical Services gave us several minutes of their radio transmissions that dramatically illustrate what was happening as the tragedy began to unfold.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

Just 10 seconds after the first bomb went off, the first transmission from EMS comes through.

“What was that on Boylston Street? Something just exploded at the finish line,” said one medic.

“Confirming two devices just went off at Boylston and Exeter. All units. Extreme caution,” says another.

“The response, as you could hear, was immediate,” says Brendan Kearney.

EMS Superintendent in Chief Kearney was the Operations Officer that day. Even though seasoned veterans have seen intense trauma before, Marathon day was different.

“You don’t see 40 or 50 at once. That was the difference,” says Kearney.

Read: 2014 Boston Marathon Field Set At 36,000

Kearney says all the training made a world of difference.

“All those key players were already in place and people knew the roles and responsibilities right from the time of the bombing,” he told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Thursday.

Just after the first blast, they begin to treat the injured.

“We don’t have a count yet on casualties, however we are receiving casualties coming in. Would you notify all the hospitals that there’s a potential here for a mass casualty event,” says one radio transmission.

Then the magnitude of the injuries became apparent.

“I have multiple casualties on Boylston, 673, between Exeter and Dartmouth. 673 Boylston. Multiple casualties,” says another transmission.

The response of EMS, other first responders and even civilians made the difference.

“There were a lot of patients there that in any other circumstance very likely would have not survived. They would have died. I’m very proud, very proud of the service, and the men and women who work here,” says Kearney.

There were about 70 EMS personnel at the finish line that day.

Every injured person transported to a hospital from that scene survived.

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