ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A Florida firefighter and paramedic who was near the finish line at the Boston Marathon said Tuesday that the scene was chaotic and graphic after two explosions — and he helped triage the injured.
James Cunningham said he and his 13-year-old daughter were near the Lenox Hotel and the marathon’s end, waiting for his wife to finish the race.
“I went there for a weekend of relaxation and to watch her run,” said the 28-year veteran of the St. Petersburg, Fla., fire department.
Cunningham initially thought the first explosion was a transformer or generator problem.
He said he and his daughter were shielded by the hotel building, but they soon heard the second explosion even closer to them, around 15 yards away. He told his daughter to stay put at the Lenox Hotel and he began triaging the injured, telling passers-by to apply tourniquets made from T-shirts onto wounds. Smoke hung in the air and people were running every which way.
“There was so much chaos,” he said. “It was really graphic as far as the injuries.”
Cunningham said he identified himself as a paramedic and explained to non-injured spectators how to help the wounded. Several moments later, Boston paramedics arrived and Cunningham and his daughter left.
His wife made it to the 25 1/2th mile and was stopped by race officials.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.