BOSTON (CBS) — Volunteers at the Boston Marathon finish line medical tent will be hearing a familiar voice once again this year.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mary Blake has the story of the medical tent coordinator
Last Patriot’s Day, WBZ reporter Lana Jones was not at the Boston Marathon finish line, at least not initially.
Listen to Lana Jones’ recalling the day
“I was over by the New England Aquarium to do a story on school vacation week. You know, it was a slow news day,” she recalls.
But, it all changed at 3 p.m.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mary Blake reports
“Our editor, Dave Mager, called and said, ‘There has been an explosion.'”Lana rushed to the finish line and describes one of her strongest memories of that day, the hushed atmosphere as she stood in the back of the medical tent.
“Really, the only voice that you could hear, the only real noise in that little corner of the world at that time, was the voice of the man who was giving orders in the medical tent as the injured were coming in. This firm voice resonated throughout. Everything else was silent,” she says.
The owner of that voice may surprise you.
It belongs to John Andersen, who is not a health care professional, but a science teacher at the Hillside School in Marlborough.
“As a science teacher, you have all kinds of things that are going on, and you have to be in charge and in control and keep everyone focused on what they’re doing, and that day, that’s what my job was. ” Andersen adding, “It is my job as an educator in a school setting to protect and take care of my students and I didn’t have to think. It became a safety net.”
He adds that it’s been helpful to talk to his wife about that day. She is a Newton Wellesley Hospital ER nurse who was also in the medical tent volunteering last year. Andersen has had time to reflect.
“I saw things and lived things that I never imagined that I would ever see, but at the same time, everything moves forward and everything moves on.”
Andersen says he chooses to focus on the positives from last year. Tops on that list, he says, is the actions of the medical staff that day.
“The magnificent people who were there inside that tent saved lives. Everyone who came into that tent alive, departed that tent alive, and are still alive today.”
Andersen says he had no hesitation when asked to return this year, and fully expects it will be a medical tent and not a trauma center next Monday.
“The people in the tent will be applauding and cheering the runners on, just like every other time.”
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