– April 26th, 2013 by Chad Reilly –
AthleticTrainers

An eyewitness to terror: Alex Fusco becomes first responder to Boston bombing

In Boston’s day of terror, Colby-Sawyer College senior Alex Fusco shed his fear and allowed his athletic training instincts to emerge, rushing to the haunting scene. The college’s athletic training majors ventured to the 2013 Boston Marathon in hopes of being a part of the joyous competition while applying their knowledge and skills to the racers. They received more than they asked for—or could fathom.

Fusco was standing 50-feet from the first bombsite in the finish line tent. “The whole ground shook when the first bomb went off. At first no one moved out of shock. I overheard people saying it was a blown transformer, until the second bomb blew. It was louder and more smoke filled the air. We all knew it was a terrorist attack.”

Fusco waited for a second, stunned, then raced toward the chaos with reckless abandon for his own safety. “It was weird. I can’t explain it, but I had to go-in spite being more scared than ever before. I didn’t know if there was going to be a third one. My instincts took over my logical judgment; once I saw people running in, I ran in. I had a wheelchair and went to see if I could be of assistance in anyway. I witnessed fatalities, blood, limbs, clothing blown off people with stuffing coming out of jackets, glass from the shattered windows, constant screaming, fire alarms and everything else you can imagine.”

Fusco helped a young woman into the chair and wheeled her over to the paramedics, who then rushed her to Massachusetts General Hospital. On a recent phone interview with WXKL Concord News radio, the day after the attack, he was asked to go into detail about his means of helping. Fusco’s response: “ I just got her out of harm’s way and let the paramedics do their jobs. I have had no further contact with her. I just did what I was trained to do.”

The aftermath of the ordeal has left Fusco a bit shaken up, but he says the support he received from family, friends and his entire college community truly helped him take his mind off the tragedy and get back to the norm. “The first few nights I didn’t sleep at all—night terrors. I still jump a bit whenever I hear a loud noise, but I think and hope it will fade over time.”

While looking at the event from an optomistic perspective, Fusco added, “I’m not going to see anything worse than that, so in a way it’s good to know I can handle that type of situation. It gave me some confidence.”

Fusco noted, “It changed me, you never know what’s going to happen, everything can change in an instant. You can never take anything for granted in this world.”

 

NEWS UPDATE

APRIL 28-Nearly two weeks since the Boston bombing attacks and three surgeries later, recovering victim Brittany Loring of Cambridge MA, sought after her wheelchair-wielding hero and eventually connected with Alex Fusco last night thanks to social media. For the full WCVB story, see link below.

http://www.wcvb.com/news/local/metro/boston-marathon-bomb-victim-reunited-with-men-who-saved-her-life/-/11971628/19926650/-/15tjjba/-/index.html

Senior Athletic Training major Whitney Cashin of Colby-Sawyer was also at the Bombing scene. Keen’s Sentinel Source has the story.

http://www.sentinelsource.com/news/local/local-runners-were-near-the-blasts-at-boston-marathon/article_fa8277e1-29aa-5004-8f9a-20a3f2ef309d.html

 

Near the finish line were two Colby-Sawyer College Alums by the names of Stephanie Manyk and Amanda LeMarier. Matt McCabe, a staff worker at the college was present as well.

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