Boston Marathon Bombing and Recovery
What happened at the Boston Marathon bombing?
On April 15, 2013, a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs detonated in the crowd of the Boston Marathon, a short distance from the finish line along Boylston Street. Between the first and second bomb, the attack killed three spectators and sent more than 260 bombing survivors to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, nearby trauma centers, and health care systems.
Some of the bombing victims received permanent disabilities, and many were forced to have leg amputations, requiring prosthetics and extensive physical therapy. More than 5,600 runners were still in the race when the bombs exploded at approximately 2:49 in the afternoon.
Following an intensive manhunt for the suspects around the Boston area, the first bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was captured. His older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was also behind the attack, died after a shootout with public safety officials in Watertown the same day. The two brothers were not working in collaboration with or connected to any terrorist organizations, according to the FBI.
How did R3c support the City of Boston’s recovery?
After the attack, when the EMS and other health care first responders, firefighters, medical services teams, and emergency services agencies moved on and the medical tents were taken down, a second mobilization had already begun. For the people, organizations, and family members impacted by the shocking attack, R3 Continuum was called in to help them process the trauma.
R3c supported hundreds of companies and businesses whose employees were immediately impacted by the bombings. Many organizations had employees running in the marathon, as well as employees among the thousands of volunteers and spectators who had been at the race. Processing post-traumatic stress requires specific, specialized behavioral health services.
The bombings also impacted many people who were not directly present at the bombings but who still required an effective response to help them process the trauma of the day and move forward. R3c directly supported the mental and emotional well-being of employees in the stores along Boylston Street who had to return to work where the horrific event occurred.
How does R3c crisis counseling make a difference after workplace trauma?
After the bombings, R3c was called in as part of the initial response. R3c met with the impacted businesses that wanted to provide their organizations with crucial behavioral health medical care. The specific services that the R3c experts delivered were tailored to address the massive disruptive impact of a terrorist attack like the Boston Marathon had on the employees.
R3c was also called into partnership with executives from several leadership organizations that were specifically involved with the event. R3c supported these executives in leading their disaster mental health response by launching an immediate communications response to the people in their organizations, as well as other stakeholders. R3c created print and audio resources to help provide them with tools to take care of themselves and foster their own resilience as they grappled with this loss.
Why Behavioral Health Disaster Response Matters
As a result of R3c’s support, the hundreds of organizations whose employees were affected by the terrorist attack could help their people through the aftermath and effectively support their resilience, recovery, and well-being.
Given the immense amount of community and nationwide involvement within this marathon, the ripple effect of the disruption the bombings caused was widespread and felt deeply—not just in the Boston community but throughout the country. Many organizations provide their teams with behavioral health support after a large-scale event like this bombing—whether they are directly impacted or not.
R3c’s support also allowed leaders to send a message of hope and perseverance to their organizations, which was desperately needed after such a devastating attack.
Don’t wait until a tragedy occurs to navigate how you will support your people. Public health preparedness includes planning, responding, and recovery for organizations of every size, and in every city and town.