My Name Is… Liz Randall

Arvada native served as nurse near Ground Zero on 9/11

Posted 9/14/21

About Me I'm from Arvada originally and grew up there. I went to Arvada West High School and sang in church as a kid and did musical theatre at the Arvada Center occasionally. It's a great place. I …

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My Name Is… Liz Randall

Arvada native served as nurse near Ground Zero on 9/11

Posted

About Me

I'm from Arvada originally and grew up there. I went to Arvada West High School and sang in church as a kid and did musical theatre at the Arvada Center occasionally. It's a great place.

I went to college in Chicago at North Park University and got my nursing degree after high school. I got my first nursing job in Oklahoma, ended up moving back to Colorado and worked at Lutheran Medical Center and St. Anthony Hospital, working as an ICU nurse.

While I was working as a nurse, I was pursuing acting and moved out to Los Angeles to pursue acting after my first few years as a nurse. I went to New York to audition for things on Broadway.

I was in line to audition for Footloose when the World Trade Center came down.

In the heart of it

I was inside a building in Times Square and got a call from my mom telling me that something had happened. I didn't see or hear anything, but when I got outside, there was smoke starting to bellow. I was a little too far away to see the World Trade Center.

I'm a first responder, and that first responder instinct just kicked in and I found the nearest hospital to Times Square in my dance shoes.

I went there and just said, `Hey, I'm a nurse, I don't know if you're going to need mt help, but I'm an ER nurse back in Colorado.' They gave me a pair of scrubs and told me to wait.

A few other nurses and I were just sitting there doing nothing, and I just felt the urge to be helpful. So, we grabbed a taxi driver and just said, `Just take us down there, we want to help.'

Everything had been barricaded, so people couldn't get down there, but out taxi driver was awesome and would stick his head out the window and say, `Hey, I've got doctors and nurses with me!' and the police would move the barricades and let us in.

We ended up getting all the way to Stuyvesant High School and ended up setting up a clinic at the school, which is about six blocks away from Ground Zero.

Once we got down there, we were walking around on pulverized cement and there was all this grey stuff drifting and blowing through the air. Firefighters were giving out masks. I couldn't really see anything because there was so much smoke, and the fires were blazing and kind of obscuring views of everything.

There were no patients. We were doing a lot of eye washes for the firefighters because there was so much debris drifting around. But we weren't treating anybody because most people either got out on foot or didn't make it.

Harsh reality

There was definitely a camaraderie happening where everyone was pulling together to try and help. There was a somber mood because there was so much uncertainty and we weren't getting any patients, so it was a little bit of chaos and confusion.

I was there for the whole day, and after a while, the harsh reality set in and we began to understand; I don't think anyone's coming.

Later on, they started to evacuate us, thinking that our building might collapse.

It was just one of those significant moments in your life where you start to wonder and realize who you are.

I realized my life could be in danger, and I just remember thinking, `I'm not leaving, I'm going to stay with these people because we're all volunteering our time and we're in this together, and I'm going to make sure I'm part of the effort to help save people.'

If you, or someone you know, would like to participate in My Name Is... contact Ryan Dunn at rdunn@coloradocommunitymedia.com.

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