Prologue from 2001

 After September 11th, 2001, we didn’t need the media to tell us that something monumental had happened.   As tragic as the events at the Pentagon, the crash in Western Pennsylvania and the World Trade Center complex work, and they most certainly were, especially for those who lost loved ones that day or suffered damages to their health during the event or in the aftermath. We all understood almost immediately that the impact of this day reached far beyond those losses. The world itself changed forever.

We knew that we had to respond, but what should we do in these new uncertain times? What in fact could we do as individuals, as families, as corporations, organizations, and as communities?  I was thinking about that question from my home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania at the time of the attack on America in the fall of 2001. Time had changed the way Americans viewed themselves and their world. I just gotten InnerLink, my hands-on and internet-based education company, off the ground. Together with a talented team, we created several products to help students work with real experts to solve real problems and the process to learn about careers, science, and the excitement of being part of a team that would accomplish something of benefit to mankind.

 We knew these were idealistic goals, but we also knew that they were also entirely attainable at the time of towers collapsed. We had already devised an outer space project that launched onboard .the space shuttle, and continues to help NASA scientists plan a food production system that’s potentially for use in deep space exploration. Our “Project Breathe” product was formed to create a high-quality interactive education experience, encouraging students to refuse to begin smoking or to quit their habit if they already have. In fact, it was this project that came to shape my work at Ground Zero, and it is this project that I continue to use in helping others to become safer and become prepared for the unexpected. I’m explaining the nature of my work here because it is central to our post-911work in national emergency preparedness and resilience.

The concept is simple.  In Project Breathe,  the students use virtual reality images of the body and expert content, to learn about the lungs, how to prevent illness, how to screen for and diagnosed elements and how to build a medical record on papers as well as online.  This device also allows them to work with a team of world-class researchers and clinicians as mentors and as team leaders for research and screening activities. One of the highlights of the experience is the team machine T E A M is an acronym based on its functions, telecommunications education administration, and measurements. This team machine is a laptop computer customized to allow for building and electronic health record and to do actual testing of the heart with electrocardiography, the lungs with spirometry and pulse oximetry measurements. It can also be used as a network communication device in times of emergency allowing for community schools, local governments, fire departments, police departments, and other organizations to quickly access information from key sources and to allow diagnosticians access to medical records and reference materials while onsite at a disaster scene. It also provides quick onsite tutorials for volunteers in emergencies or in peacetime for education.

 It was this aspect of the program that was to become so vital to our post 911 work. Connecting students and other experts to share information in times of peace and emergency is vital. In its Project Breathe mode, the machine allows students to be in touch with medical care professionals and the community throughout the program’s duration, as they learn about their healthcare careers. If a disaster strikes each of these settings immediately converts to become a site where care can be rendered on the expert device, under expert advice until advisers arrive. If the local medical experts are unreachable or overwhelmed, others on the site can create a secondary support and to tell a medical network of advisors. It also allows for onsite access to the medical informatics for aid, with onsite diagnosis, for healthcare professionals as I was demonstrating during my work at Ground Zero.

When the planes crashed into the Twin Towers, into the Pentagon and into the ground in Western Pennsylvania and September 11th, 2001, we all learned that these tools are much more valuable than any of us could have ever dreamed or wanted them to be. . This is however, a different world than it was on September 10th, 2001, of that year and while we must continue with our lives with hope for the future, we must also be safe and smart and fully prepared for any event should the extraordinary once again, occur on these shores.  When I asked Pennsylvania governor Mark Schweiker, what we as businesses and community leaders and citizens and the private sector do to help in these times of heightened security, he told me to encourage our employees and fellow community members to volunteer and support our efforts to better prepare our businesses, communities, and organizations for the unexpected. He also asked that we inform our local and state agencies of our skills, resources, and capabilities.

.My professional and personal goals are to help all of us prepared to deal with disasters locally so that we can survive nationally. My company is dedicated to helping. Any income related to the activity will be invested a hundred percent back in the effort to improve our preparedness. I encourage corporate leaders to look at their intellectual property products, personnel, and services, and see how they can support their communities. The return to the staff and the businesses much greater than the profit. I have therefore focused my employees and advisors to identify world-class resources and telecom, telecommunications, education administration, measurement technologies that can be bundled together and coordinate a coordinated way to help first responders and citizens. We’ve expanded our curriculum and created some tools for schools and have invented a new way for schools, companies, and home to be linked to a data central database, to share information. We’re hopeful that this online operations and disaster manual, we perpetually updated with help for day-to-day operations and to ease and the disaster. We have worked to create services that have a triple use in high quality inquiry-based education that helps schools reach their standards.

We hope to focus our talent agencies and resources into interlinked communities because we, if we work together better in ordinary times, we’ll be, we will be better prepared when the extraordinary happens. We have motivated our team to create a Citizens Core Council, a Community Emergency Response Team, a Medical Reserve Corps and block watches, and in-school curriculum to prepare our communities for more effective preparation and communications during the ordinary times and peace times, then we can all be ready for extraordinary times of crisis.  In order to get information out to the public as quickly as possible, we built a website at InnerLink.  (Editorial note: that website no longer exists. The link has been recreated into The Force for Health Network ,

What can other individuals, families, communities, organizations, and companies do to best prepare for the future in this post 911 era?   The first step is to become as knowledgeable as possible… to learn it. If you have bought this book or reading this essay, or watching this video, you are about to learn about this doctor’s experience treating rescuers at the Ground Zero site and some recommended steps for preparation might be. That’s a good first step. I hope by the end of this book, you are motivated to take your place in history and become part of the Freedom Generation. In these difficult times, you will learn how to become part of the Freedom Generation and begin to make a difference.

(The above was written in 2001. Since 2001, the T.E.A.M. machine and telemedicine system built in wasn’t commercialized. The access to the internet was so slow that it was almost impossible to be used. The curriculum has been evolved into a better newer version, The Force for Health Network.  The disaster planning guides are included in the Chamber of Health product. The earlier version was spun off and is being marketed  by a company Lauren innovations in Ohio, for safe schools.  We called it Team Prepared.

As you read this book, remember it was written by volunteer immediately after volunteer work at Ground Zero. What book would you write, if this were you writing a book to debrief and take  the stress of all these experiences. The book let me put  them somewhere where I could look at it and deal with them.  What successes have you achieved after this set of disasters you’ve just  lived through and have experienced in these last years?

Please be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Please be a force for health.

Let’s read the book.