2020欧洲杯最新战况Dr. Joel L. Nitzkin, chief of the Office of Consumer Protection, a section of the Dade County, Florida, Department of Public Health, sat crouched (he is six feet nine) at his desk in the Civic Center complex in downtown Miami, stirring a mug of coffee that his secretary had just brought in. It was around half past ten on a sunny Monday morning in May—May 13, 1974. His telephone rang. He put down his coffee and picked up the phone and heard the voice of a colleague, Martha Sonderegger, the department’s assistant nursing director. Miss Sonderegger was calling to report that her Miami Beach unit had just received a call for help—for the services of a team of public-health nurses—from the Bay Harbor Elementary School. There had been a pipe break or a leak of some kind, Miss Sonderegger had been told, and the school was engulfed in a pall of poison gas. Many of the children were ill, and some had been taken to a neighborhood hospital by the rescue squad of the municipal fire department. Dr. Nitzkin listened, considered.
2020欧洲杯最新战况He said, “What do you think, Martha?”
2020欧洲杯最新战况“It sounds a little strange.”
“I think so, too.”
“But I’m sending a team of nurses.”
“Yes,” Dr. Nitzkin said. “Of course. And I think I’d better drive out to the school and take a look myself.”
He thanked her and hung up—and then picked up the phone again. He made two quick calls. One was to an industrial hygienist named Carl DiSalvo, in the Division of Environmental Health. The other was to a staff physician named Myriam Enriquez, in the Disease Control Section. He asked Dr. Enriquez to meet him at once at his car; as for Mr. DiSalvo, he was already on his way to the school. Dr. Nitzkin untangled his legs and got up. He was out of his office in two easy, five-foot strides. His coffee cooled on his desk, untasted and forgotten.
Dr. Nitzkin is no longer associated with the Dade County Department of Public Health. He has moved up, both professionally and geographically, to Rochester, New York, where he now serves as director of the Monroe County Department of Health, and it was there, on a winter day, that I talked with him about the summons to the Bay Harbor Elementary School. His recollection was undimmed, indelible.
“I remember it was hot,” he told me, standing at his office window and gazing down through the palm trees in his memory at the bare maples and last night’s foot of new snow. “Warm, anyway—warm enough to make me think that the ‘poison gas’ at the school might have something to do with the air-conditioning system. And I remember my first sight of the school. The scene was complete pandemonium. It had the look2020欧洲杯最新战况 of a disaster. We had to park half a block away, because the school parking lot was full of trucks and vans and cars of all kinds—all parked every which way. Ambulances. Fire equipment. Police cars. All with their flashers flashing. And the media—they were swarming. Newspaper reporters and photographers. Radio people with microphones. Television cameras from four local stations. And even—good God!—local dignitaries. Members of the Dade County School Board. Members of the Bay Harbor Town Council. And neighbors and passersby and parents all rushing around. I had never seen anything like it, and I had to wonder how come. But the explanation, it turned out, was simple enough. The school had called the fire department, and the fire department had called the rescue squad—and the media all monitor the fire department’s radio frequency. There was one oasis of calm and order. That was the children. They had been marched out of the building in fire-drill formation and were lined up quietly in the shade of some trees at the far end of the school grounds. There were a lot of them—several hundred, it looked like. Which was reassuring. I had got the impression that most of the school had been stricken by whatever the trouble was. Dr. Enriquez and I cut through the mob, looking for someone in charge. It turned out that the school principal was away somewhere at a meeting. We asked around and were finally directed to the head secretary. She was the person nominally in charge, but you couldn’t say she was in control. Nobody was in control.
“She and Dr. Enriquez and I talked for a moment at the entrance to the building. The building was standard design for contemporary Florida schools. The entrance hall ran back to a cross corridor that led to the classrooms. The other school facilities were off the entrance hall. The offices, the clinic, and the library were on the right-hand side. On the left were the teachers’ lounge, the cafetorium, and the kitchen. A cafetorium is a room that doubles as an auditorium and a cafeteria. The secretary gave us all the information she had. It was her understanding that there had been a gas leak of some kind. That was what she had heard. But she had seen the first victim with her own eyes. The first victim was an eleven-year-old girl in the fifth grade. I’ll call her Sandy. Sandy was a member of a chorus of around a hundred and seventy-five fourth, fifth, and sixth graders who had assembled with the music teacher in the cafetorium at nine o’clock to rehearse for a school-wide musical program. Halfway through the hour—this, I should say, was constructed later—she began to feel sick. She slipped out of the cafetorium. She was seen by some of the students but not by the teacher. She went across the hall to the clinic and went in and collapsed on a couch. The clinic staff was off duty at the moment, but the secretary happened to catch sight of her, and went in and found her lying there unconscious. She tried to revive her—with smelling salts!”
“My mother used to carry smelling salts,” I said.
“Yes. It was rather sweet, I thought. Well, anyway, Sandy didn’t respond, and that very naturally alarmed the secretary. And so she very naturally called for help. She called the fire department. Sandy was still unconscious when the fire-rescue squad arrived, and they didn’t waste any time. They put her on a stretcher and took her off to the hospital—North Shore Hospital. Then another child got sick, and another, and another. That’s when our nursing unit was called. Seven children were sick enough to also be rushed to the hospital after Sandy went. Around twenty-five others were sick enough to be sent home. The school called their parents, and they came and picked them up. Another forty or so were being treated here at the school. They were in the cafetorium.” Dr. Nitzkin raised his eyebrows. “That’s what the secretary said—in the cafetorium! Myriam Enriquez and I exchanged a look. Wasn’t the cafetorium where Sandy became ill, I asked. Where the poison gas must have first appeared? The secretary looked baffled. She said she didn’t know anything about that. She had first seen Sandy in the clinic. All she knew was that the sick children still at the school were being treated in the cafetorium.