I am writing to express our deep appreciation for the exceptional work of local first responders following the explosion at University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro last Thursday night, April 10.

Thank you to the Plainsboro Police and all the fire companies and ambulance crews that responded-including Plainsboro, Princeton, Princeton Junction, Monmouth Junction, Kingston, Kendall Park, and the Princeton University Plasma Physics Laboratory, along with the county fire coordinators for Mercer and Middlesex. We also would like to thank the local Plainsboro officials, the Middlesex County Fire Investigation Unit, and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, who continue investigating the cause of the explosion.

We are grateful to these groups for their rapid response, expertise, and effective collaboration with our physicians, nurses, and other staff. There was a tremendous sense of teamwork as everyone involved responded with skill and compassion in the midst of a challenging situation.

The collaboration between all first responders at the hospital that night helped us to ensure the safety and well-being of our patients and visitors, as well as the injured staff member.

Barry S. Rabner

President and CEO

Princeton HealthCare System

When I arrived home last Friday night, April 11, I couldn’t help but think about the preceding 24 hours and the many powerful emotions I was feeling. The first was sadness for our staff member who was injured in the explosion Thursday night, her family, and our staff. My second emotion was pride and appreciation for all the amazing people I work with. We were faced with a crisis situation, but because of the many competent, brave staff and physicians, this disaster was so much less than it could have been. I was amazed by the quick thinking and bravery exhibited by all. Everyone did what they needed to do, including our patients and their families.

It is truly difficult to put everything into perspective at the present time, but we all continue to learn from these situations. I was struck by how well we do the things we do and I want to acknowledge and thank all the staff on telemetry and throughout the hospital who were here Thursday night, as well as the staff continuing to help and support our organization. I want to recognize all who are part of this amazing organization.

I went home feeling, “I am in the right place with the right people!”

Kathleen Ryan, BSN, RN, BC

Director of Nursing and Peri-op Services