Legislation Would Improve Emergency Communications

It's not easy to find silver linings in the wreckage left by Katrina and Rita but, if nothing else, the back-to-back hurricanes exposed critical flaws in the nation's disaster preparedness. Some were weaknesses that the fire-rescue service had been...


To access the remainder of this piece of premium content, you must be registered with Firehouse. Already have an account? Login

Register in seconds by connecting with your preferred Social Network.

OR

Complete the registration form.

Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required

If it leads to better, more dependable emergency communications, it will be well worth the effort. But the radio problem and the battle over spectrum is only one of many problems that have gone unsolved for many years and contributed to the many things that went wrong in response to the hurricanes. Some things went right, but as we learn more of what happened day-by-day, it seems that mistakes made in previous disasters were repeated all along the Gulf Coast. As is the case is most fatal fires, there are not many new lessons to be learned from Katrina and Rita, but there are plenty of old lessons that were not heeded.

Hopefully, officials at all levels of government, who have the power and the responsibility to solve these problems, will listen, learn and finally take the proper actions.


Hal Bruno, a Firehouse contributing editor, retired as political director for ABC News in Washington and served almost 40 years as a volunteer firefighter. He is a director of the Chevy Chase, MD, Fire Department and chairman of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.