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Fox News’ life-saving `Factor’

Sep 17, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Dan Cohen was in his apartment on the east fringes of Greenwich Village when he got a call that “something was going on.” His wife worked on Wall Street and had felt an explosion.
“My first instinct was to go there,” said Mr. Cohen, who is an associate producer on “The O’Reilly Factor” and is trained as an emergency medical technician.
Mr. Cohen spent most of Sept. 11 dragging people out of the dust clouds that engulfed whole city blocks after each of the burning World Trade Center towers collapsed, putting them in ambulances, offering what treatment or encouragement he could, helping to flag down a ferry to load victims-including a firefighter having an apparent heart attack-for a trip to safety in New Jersey.
When the medical team to which he’d become attached headed north, picking up whoever they could load onto a golf-cart-like vehicle, he finally found a phone from which to call his wife-“I knew that she thought I was dead”-over phone lines that were barely working.
He also called Fox and said he could go on air. But he knew “there must be somewhere people needed help.”
And so he and his team made their way to the Chelsea Piers on the Hudson River shore, where a triage “hospital” already had been set up in the sound studio that is home to NBC’s “Law & Order.”
More than 500 people were there, split into teams, all prepared to make split-second life-and-death decisions for 500 to 1,000 patients.
For long hours they waited. No casualties arrived.
At 7 p.m., Mr. Cohen left the triage center that had sprung up, “M*A*S*H”-like on a well-lighted set, and walked the 40 long city blocks through empty streets to Fox News studios in Midtown Manhattan. He appeared on “Factor,” the show for which he usually produces segments, and then walked back to Chelsea Piers to see if he could help.