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  1. #1
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    Default Threat Level Severe- how FDs prepare?

    .
    Last edited by fireflyer; 06-30-2003 at 05:03 PM.


  2. #2
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Show up and answer any calls that come in. That is our plan.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    In case you were looking for something a little more substantive, go to the NJ Division of Fire Safety and see a suggested SOP for the various threat levels.

    http://www.state.nj.us/dca/dfs/fired...thsasguide.doc

  4. #4
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    Take extra security measures. Don't leave rigs unattended. If no way around it, make sure rig is locked. Extra security at stations and at Municipal building. Will start to staff the stations (we are a POC dept.). If I think of the rest I will post it.......

  5. #5
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    Get a copy of the latest, {3/17/2003}, written IAFC NEWS ALERT. You need to get a copy of this by fax, no web posting available for security reasons.

  6. #6
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Default Awareness, Vigilance, Preparedness





    "Stoking hysteria with pulsing orange lights and talk of panic rooms will, in today's jaded, ironical age, invite only mockery."
    http://slate.msn.com/id/2078892/

    I found this and similar information after doing a www.google.com search on | "duct and cover" "cold war" |.


    In reality, I think Bones42's reply is more useful than the 'substance' contained in the NJ Division of Fire Safety link provided by GeorgeWendt.

    I hope I'm not sounding ignorant or downplaying things, but I really feel that vigilance does not depend on some shade of a government rainbow sign. Let's say that over the course of the next 3 years, the "threat level" is changed from yellow to orange 6 or so times. I don't believe that people will do anything different after the second or third time. I think people will become desensitized and complacent, because I think that's what we typically do.

    This system seems to be almost an effort to ease the minds of citizens. It provides a "nice and neat" organized table that cleanly places us somewhere on a scale of terrorist threat. To me, it's about as useful as the "duct and cover" stuff.

    We should have the plans in place to react to disasters at any time, whether they're from Mother Nature or other humans.

    It's good we have heightened awareness and such, but really, don't you think the time for an attack would come when we least expect it... when we are most vulnerable? Even if we become a "quasi-police state," there will still be outbreaks that can not be prevented, no matter what we do. Most of the "terrorist alert recommendations" are things we should be doing ALREADY and ALL THE TIME. For example, the suggestion concerning locking unattended vehicles... probably a good idea to always do this. In the scheme of things, it's probably more likely a hoodlum will wheel-off in your ride than a "terrorist."

    $#!+ happens -- we know it WILL happen. In my opinion, we need to worry less about the likelihood of it occurring versus how we react to a disaster. Our plans on how to mitigate and deal with the aftermath should always be updated, comprehensive, rehearsed, and communicated. So I guess what I have to add is make sure you have contingency plans, training, and equipment in place for disasters, both natural and man-made. Hopefully I'm not being disrespectful or insensitive.

    Take it for what it's worth.
    http://www.markfiore.com/animation/alerts.html

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    Last edited by Resq14; 03-18-2003 at 04:35 AM.
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  7. #7
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    I hope I'm not sounding ignorant
    Too late.

    Let's say that over the course of the next 3 years, the "threat level" is changed from yellow to orange 6 or so times. I don't believe that people will do anything different after the second or third time. I think people will become desensitized and complacent, because I think that's what we typically do.
    Who's we? If you understand that the decision to move from one level to another is a) not done cavalierly and b) based upon credible information obtained by multplie redundant sources, you would understand why this happens. You would also understand that there is a very, very real possibility that attacks have been prevented by the increase to orange in the past.

    This system seems to be almost an effort to ease the minds of citizens. It provides a "nice and neat" organized table that cleanly places us somewhere on a scale of terrorist threat. To me, it's about as useful as the "duct and cover" stuff.
    The duct tape stuff is stupid and useless. It doesn't mean, however, that all the information provided is useless. A terror attack is not the same as a man-made disaster. For example, a terror attack is ALWAYS a crime scene, usually a federal crime scene. That means the FD will have to operate differently and be integrated into a different ICS than in a natural disaster.

    And, by the way, what is wrong with "easing the minds of citizens"? There is clear evidence that once the citizenry sees that the emergency services know what they are doing, they are less likely to panic and act irrationally. That is a bad thing?

    It's good we have heightened awareness and such, but really, don't you think the time for an attack would come when we least expect it... when we are most vulnerable? Even if we become a "quasi-police state," there will still be outbreaks that can not be prevented, no matter what we do. Most of the "terrorist alert recommendations" are things we should be doing ALREADY and ALL THE TIME. For example, the suggestion concerning locking unattended vehicles... probably a good idea to always do this. In the scheme of things, it's probably more likely a hoodlum will wheel-off in your ride than a "terrorist."
    IT DID HAPPEN WHEN WE LEAST EXPECTED IT! IT WAS CALLED 9/11!

    From that point on, whether you choose to accept it or not, the lives of emergency responders will never be the same. Preparedness 24/7 should mean that we never again "least expect it". There will be attacks here. Even if we prepare. Look at Israel. No country has prepared more that they have. They expect an attack every day. And it still happens. However, when it happens, the emergency services, the government and the citizens react with speed, confidence and deliberateness to mitigate the effects and to retore order as quickly as possible. That is the level where we should be.

    You are probably right that many of these things should be done all the time. But the harsh reality is that they weren't. Forget private citrzens. How many FD's do not do the things they should be doing. How many unlocked fire houses are there? How many unprotected stations are there? How many FD's have not undergone even the most rudimentary training for WMD? The answer in all cases is too many.

    $#!+ happens -- we know it WILL happen. In my opinion, we need to worry less about the likelihood of it occurring versus how we react to a disaster. Our plans on how to mitigate and deal with the aftermath should always be updated, comprehensive, rehearsed, and communicated. So I guess what I have to add is make sure you have contingency plans, training, and equipment in place for disasters, both natural and man-made.
    That doesn't sound like bad advice on the surface. However, it is a fuzzy, feel good approach instead of offering something of substance. Please, pray tell, let me know what is wrong with the information on the NJ Division of Fire Safety website.

    Hopefully I'm not being disrespectful or insensitive.
    Too late.

  8. #8
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    IT DID HAPPEN WHEN WE LEAST EXPECTED IT! IT WAS CALLED 9/11!
    that's a low blow, and it's not even accurate. hypotheticly, if the US had been put on a severe terror warning, with no specifics given, do you really think anything different would have happened? do you really think the entire country, or even the entire city of new york would have shut down based on a very broad warning? Absolutly not. 9/11 was a tragedy, one that our country is still healing from. but this type of system won't prevent something similar from occuring.

    yes, this color coded alert level is worthless. it makes us aware of what the terror level is, but unless I know that my town is going to be the next target on this particular day, I doubt I will be changing my routine. and if the FBI does know something credible, i expect them to do something about it. many of the suggestions (lock fire trucks and ambulances, which can be difficult because some fire trucks don't have keys) and locking firehouses (I, personally, don't know of a dept that does this usually) are things we should probably do in our normal life. and this duct tape and plastic is another stupid idea, designed to make people feel safe while not really so.

  9. #9
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    that's a low blow, and it's not even accurate. hypotheticly, if the US had been put on a severe terror warning, with no specifics given, do you really think anything different would have happened? do you really think the entire country, or even the entire city of new york would have shut down based on a very broad warning? Absolutly not. 9/11 was a tragedy, one that our country is still healing from. but this type of system won't prevent something similar from occuring.
    It's not a low blow and you could not possibly be more wrong.

    When the alert level goes up, security at the airports goes up. If the security at the airports then was what it is today, I can unequivocally state that 9/11 would not have happened.

  10. #10
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    Default LIKE IT OR NOT.....

    Gentlemen;
    Like it or not; when George is right, he's right.
    George; you're right.
    What people seem to forget is that we have been at war since September 11, 2001. It is not a figment of our imagination. President Bush declared war on terrorism, shortly after JETLINERS slammed into the WTC, the Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania.
    I guess because many lives were not disrupted by this cowardly act, we take umbrage when told that our lives are changing due to the external threats. What? You mean, I can't get on a plane with a knife strapped to my belt anymore? You mean that I have to be in this country LEGALLY? This is America.
    Get ready, folks. Iraq is about to meet the full strength of our military might.
    And the scumbag sleeper cells that are still in this country just might have a problem with anyone drinking a Starbucks and carrying a briefcase!
    I am treating the threat levels seriously. If you don't, then all's I can say is "George told you so"!
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  11. #11
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Folks, never said we are not taking threat levels seriously. Just not doing anything different that what precautions we normally do. The NJ DFS plan George mentions is mostly common sense items, just written out like a checklist. Some of the points are done everyday and some will most likely never be done. One of the steps includes going to key businesses in the area and securing them. There is no business in my area that can't be replaced by another in a couple days in my opinion. Another step mentions to check with Federal, State, and Local law enforcement to make sure appropriate security issues are being addressed. Yah, I'll call the FBI and make sure the fish market is protected.

    They are guidelines and just like other guidelines, they should be adpated to your needs and concerns. Our building is always locked. Our trucks (when not in the building) are always manned. The driver always stays with their truck, we are lucky enough to have the manpower at calls that we can do this. We know where our shelters are and they are ready. We know there are not enough escape routes for traffic if a large evacuation is needed, heck, we have known that for years. It gets reminded to us each hurricane season as they tell us, "too bad, most of you will not get out if the flooding is that bad."

    We don't laugh off or ignore the threats. We simply continue to live our life as normal as we can, we don't go into "panic" mode because of the threat level. If there is a problem, someone calls 911 and we show up and handle the problem as best we can.

    Stay Safe.
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  12. #12
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    We don't laugh off or ignore the threats. We simply continue to live our life as normal as we can, we don't go into "panic" mode because of the threat level. If there is a problem, someone calls 911 and we show up and handle the problem as best we can.
    Since the rest of your post is insensitive and sarcastic, I'll just deal with this.

    I do not think that I advocated anyone "panicking". Neither does the NJDFS. The concept of preparedness is important. While we shouldn't shut down our lives because of the terror rating, we should be aware of how it will effect our particular departments.

    Due to our proximity to NYC, we do not have the luxury in North Jersey to tra-la tra-la through life as though nothing were happening. My county lost 38 residents on 9/11/2001, as thousands (yes thousands) of our residents commute to NYC to work every day. We must be prepared for residual and for indirect effects of an attack om one of the most likely targets in the world.

    The bottom line is that a person came onto these forums and asked sincerely for assistance. He did not ask for sarcasm and jokes. Yeah, maybe it is the pot calling the kettle black, but this is an important matter.

  13. #13
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    "If the security we have now had been in place, 9-11 would not have happened."

    Ah, sorry, your are wrong. I flew into DC on New Years. I forgot I had a large pocket knife in my running jacket, all I flew with was my carry on. I remembered my knife when I went to exercise, and there it was still in my bag, undetected, all the way from Nashville to Baltimore.

    Secondly, the pilots at that time were trained to listen to attackers and comply with their demands in an effort to land safely. This had always worked for everyone's safety in the past. Until 9-11. It took an act like 9-11 for us to understand the depth of evil that can be present within human beings within our own lifetimes.

    You can have all the security in the world, terrorism will still occur. Need proof- look at Israel. They have armed guards everywhere and still get mass transit blown up almost routinely.

    You know what can occur next? Do you see security at all of the small general aviation airport? Nope. All it will take is a Lear Jet or a Citation or some other large aircraft that is privately owned to be stolen or bought and used as a WMD. You cannot protect everything. However, we can deter terrorism by just what America is doing, going after the root of the problem.

    The next attack will likely occur in a method we do not fully expect. Then we can start the blame game all over again. As long as humans are in charge of the security it will be fallable, no matter what or where it is. That is a fact of life. That is why we must prepare ourselves to respond to anything, because no one fully imagined the depth of 9-11, as no one can imagine what might occur tomorrow. Welcome to the new reality.

    Unless more nations like America stand against terrorism and have citizens willing to fight terrorism will continue as prevelant threat to world peace. The only way to change the current state is to take on terrorism, as we are doing.

  14. #14
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    GW, I take it you actually read the original post. It asks what a rural volunteer department can do when the threat level goes up. My advice was: "So I guess what I have to add is make sure you have contingency plans, training, and equipment in place for disasters, both natural and man-made."

    My answer was we should do the same common sense things we'd do to be prepared for any emergency or disaster, since if you could predict the "who what when where why how and weapons" there probably wouldn't be a disaster or emergency to begin with. Bones, we also take it seriously but like you, we don't alter how we do day-to-day business.

    DrParasite said, "and if the FBI does know something credible, i expect them to do something about it." And I'd hope this too.

    There will be attacks here. Even if we prepare. Look at Israel. No country has prepared more that they have. They expect an attack every day. And it still happens. However, when it happens, the emergency services, the government and the citizens react with speed, confidence and deliberateness to mitigate the effects and to retore order as quickly as possible. That is the level where we should be.
    Gee, isn't that what I said? I guess since you said it now though it has some validity.

    You also mention that when the threat level goes up, security goes up at airports. In my opinion, security should always be up. I fail to see how a color change (aside from airport security that should ALREADY be tight, at ALL TIMES, not just on red and orange days) could have prevented an attack on the scale of September 11th 2001.

    Honestly, if it drops to blue or green, what does that mean? World Peace?

    Right. It means nothing, in my opinion.

    Your cheap shots and 'witty' one-liners are par for the course.
    Last edited by Resq14; 03-18-2003 at 10:53 PM.
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    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Originally posted by fireflyer
    You cannot protect everything. However, we can deter terrorism by just what America is doing, going after the root of the problem.
    Agree strongly. Support our troops.

    And your example was also very interesting. You posted while I was writing my first reply. Even in a code orange situation, a knife slipped by. Very interesting.
    Last edited by Resq14; 03-18-2003 at 10:48 PM.
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  16. #16
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    Ah, sorry, your are wrong. I flew into DC on New Years. I forgot I had a large pocket knife in my running jacket, all I flew with was my carry on. I remembered my knife when I went to exercise, and there it was still in my bag, undetected, all the way from Nashville to Baltimore.
    It would be naive to suggest that there are no security lapses. However, the chances of there being 19 security lapses on the same day would have been non-existent.

    My answer was we should do the same common sense things we'd do to be prepared for any emergency or disaster, since if you could predict the "who what when where why how and weapons" there probably wouldn't be a disaster or emergency to begin with. Bones, we also take it seriously but like you, we don't alter how we do day-to-day business.
    Oh really?
    In reality, I think Bones42's reply is more useful than the 'substance' contained in the NJ Division of Fire Safety link provided by GeorgeWendt.
    To me, it's about as useful as the "duct and cover" stuff.
    And the 1950's CD poster was also a sarcastic touch.
    Gee, isn't that what I said? I guess since you said it now though it has some validity.
    You and I didn't say anything close to the same thing. My post was about what the Israelis do in the face of a terrorist attack. Next time they have a homicide bombing, pay attention to what is going on. All the people in blue hats and vests are government people. They are acting in a carefully organized manner. They are good at it and we can learn alot. A terrorist attack is not the same as a flood or a blizzard.

    Unless more nations like America stand against terrorism and have citizens willing to fight terrorism will continue as prevelant threat to world peace. The only way to change the current state is to take on terrorism, as we are doing.
    No argument. But part of "taking on terrorism" is being vigilant and accepting your responsibility as an emergency service worker to detect and prevent possible attacks, as well as remain in an appropriate state of readiness to respond to a terrorist event.

    Just because you live in a rural area does not exempt you from this responsibility. When that moron was placing "anthrax" in mailboxes in the Midwest, the fire service (as well as LE, by the way) was woefully unprepared to handle the incidents. What about the sniper shootings around DC? They were in suburban areas, not the city. They were terrorist attacks.

    The cities are hardened targets right now. That makes the outlying areas more attractive as targets. The statement about general aviation airports is correct. But the TSA is tackling that problem as well. We have two of them and the local PD's and the TSA, working with airport management are involved in securing those facilities as well.

    Every US fire fighter is potentially at risk to respond to a WMD incident. I am not advocating panic, I am advocating intelligence and common sense.

  17. #17
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    I am not advocating panic, I am advocating intelligence and common sense.
    Me too.

    George, sorry, but I don't see a post full of insensitive and sarcastic remarks. I will give you the calling FBI sentence was sarcastic.

    As for our evacuation routes, it is a known fact they are not capable of handling a high volume of traffic, whether it be from flooding or problems at Oyster Creek.

    I don't know how many residents in my county commute to NY, I do know there are a couple hundred from my town. NYC is about 60 miles, Oyster Creek is closer. We also have 2 small municipal airfields (very little protection) nearby. I consider them all to be targets at some level.

    I don't tra-la tra-la through life as though nothing were happening either, I wish we could.

    Stay Safe.
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  18. #18
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    On monday night the first 30 minutes of training was watching President Bush give his ultimatium (sp) to the world. After that we proceeded on with training on Fire Behavior. Afterwards while discussing promotions and the sort we were notified that the Threat Level was raised to orange. We remined our personnel on locking up the station or manning the station with auxillary when we have calls. We placed batteries in our gieger counters and checked our radiation detectors and the sort. We like to believe we would be considered a low threat but with Bush's Ranch not far and the airport he lands at bordering our area we still have to plan for any and everything.

    Stay safe and keep your eyes open.
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  19. #19
    Forum Member RyanEMVFD's Avatar
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    U.S. Navy Capt. Ouimette is the XO of NAS, Pensacola. Here is a copy of the

    speech he gave earlier this month. A wonderful and accurate account of why

    we are in trouble today.

    +++++++++++++++




    America WAKE UP!



    That's what we think we heard on the 11th of September 2001 and maybe it
    was, but I think it should have been "Get Out of Bed!" In fact, I think the

    alarm clock has been buzzing since 1979 and we have continued to hit the
    snooze button and roll over for a few more minutes of peaceful sleep since
    then.



    It was a cool fall day in November 1979 in a country going through a
    religious and political upheaval when a group of Iranian students attacked
    and seized the American Embassy in Tehran. This seizure was an outright
    attack on American soil; it was an attack that held the world's most
    powerful country hostage and paralyzed a Presidency. The attack on this
    sovereign US embassy set the stage for the events to follow for the next 23
    years.



    America was still reeling from the aftermath of the Viet Nam experience and
    had a serious threat from the Soviet Union when then, President Carter, had

    to do something. He chose to conduct a clandestine raid in the desert. The

    ill-fated mission ended in ruin, but stood as a symbol of America's
    inability to deal with terrorism. America's military had been decimated and

    downsized / right sized since the end of the Viet Nam war. A poorly
    trained, poorly equipped and poorly organized military was called on to
    execute a complex mission that was doomed from the start.



    Shortly after the Tehran experience, Americans began to be kidnaped and
    killed throughout the Middle East. America could do little to protect her
    citizens living and working abroad. The attacks against US soil continued.

    In April of 1983 a large vehicle packed with high explosives was driven into

    the US Embassy compound in Beirut. When it explodes, it kills 63 people.
    The alarm went off again and America hit the Snooze Button once more. Then
    just six short months later a large truck heavily laden down with over 2500
    pounds of TNT smashed through the main gate of the US Marine Corps
    headquarters in Beirut. 241 US servicemen are killed. America mourns her
    dead and hit the Snooze Button once more. Two months later in December
    1983, another truck loaded with explosives is driven into the US Embassy in
    Kuwait, and America continues her slumber. The following year, in September

    1984, another van was driven into the gates of the US Embassy in Beirut and
    America slept.



    Soon the terrorism spreads to Europe. In April 1985 a bomb explodes in a
    restaurant frequented by US soldiers in Madrid. Then in August a Volkswagen

    loaded with explosives is driven into the main gate of the US Air Force Base

    at Rhein-Main, 22 are killed and the Snooze Alarm is buzzing louder and
    louder as US soil is continually attacked. Fifty-nine days later a cruise
    ship, the Achille Lauro is hijacked and we watched as an American in a
    wheelchair is singled out of the passenger list and executed. The
    terrorists then shift their tactics to bombing civilian airliners when they
    bomb TWA Flight 840 in April of 1986 that killed 4 and the most tragic
    bombing, Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, killing 259.
    America wants to treat these terrorist acts as crimes; in fact we are still
    trying to bring these people to trial. These are acts of war...the Wake Up
    alarm is louder and louder.



    The terrorists decide to bring the fight to America. In January 1993, two
    CIA agents are shot and killed as they enter CIA headquarters in Langley,
    Virginia. The following month, February 1993, a group of terrorists are
    arrested after a rented van packed with explosives is driven into the
    underground parking garage of the World Trade Center in New York City. Six
    people are killed and over 1000 are injured. Still this is a crime and not
    an act of war? The Snooze alarm is depressed again.



    Then in November 1995 a car bomb explodes at a US military complex in
    Riyadh, Saudi Arabia killing seven service men and women. A few months later

    in June of 1996, another truck bomb explodes only 35 yards from the US
    military compound in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. It destroys the Khobar Towers,
    a US Air Force barracks, killing 19 and injuring over 500.



    The terrorists are getting braver and smarter as they see that America does
    not respond decisively. They move to coordinate their attacks in a
    simultaneous attack on two US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. These
    attacks were planned with precision, they kill 224. America responds with
    cruise missile attacks and goes back to sleep.



    The USS Cole was docked in the port of Aden, Yemen for refueling on 12
    October 2000, when a small craft pulled along side the ship and exploded
    killing 17 US Navy Sailors. Attacking a US War Ship is an act of war, but
    we sent the FBI to investigate the crime and went back to sleep.



    And of course you know the events of 11 September 2001. Most Americans
    think this was the first attack against US soil or in America. How wrong
    they are. America has been under a constant attack since 1979 and we chose
    to hit the snooze alarm and roll over and go back to sleep.



    In the news lately we have seen lots of finger pointing from every high
    official in government over what they knew and what they didn't know. But
    if you've read the papers and paid a little attention I think you can see
    exactly what they knew. You don't have to be in the FBI or CIA or on the
    National Security Council to see the pattern that has been developing since
    1979. The President is right on when he says we are engaged in a war. I
    think we have been in a war for the past 23 years and it will continue until

    we as a people decide enough is enough.



    America has to "Get out of Bed" and act decisively now. America has changed

    forever. We have to be ready to pay the price and make the sacrifice to
    ensure our way of life continues. We cannot afford to hit the Snooze Button

    again and roll over and go back to sleep. We have to make the terrorists
    know that in the words of Admiral Yamamoto after the attack on Pearl Harbor

    "that all they have done is to awaken a sleeping giant."



    Thank you very much.



    Dan Ouimette

    Pensacola Civitan

    19 Feb 2003
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
    IACOJ Attack

    Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Sitting in my chair, listening to the scanner while the young kids respond
    Posts
    375

    Exclamation Let's keep this serious.

    This is a serious matter and the original poster had serious concerns. I am retired from a small rural fire department and I fully understand his needs. I now am deputy director of the county Office of Domestic Preparedness (used to be Emergency Management). It is considered a rural county but we have a nuclear power plant, a gas pipe line, two interstate highways and two major railroads. I started in this business in 1967 after the Detroit riots and continued after 3-mile island.

    Some suggestions:

    Conside how your department would operate at a 40 percent staffing level. Polls show this is what you might have.

    Sit down with your department and discuss the critical infrastructure in your area and how you respond to a problem. How would your department and your community operate for days without electrical power. Do you have chemical detection equipment or know where to get it. Do you have alternate communications available. Think up things that could happen in your community and then discuss how you would respond.

    Contact your county emergency planners to see what they have in place and how your department fits into the plan.

    Small fire departments have the advantage of being able to put everyone in one room and discuss the possibilities. They also know their own community very well.

    There are many good sources of info on the web from dhs to iafc. read and adapt toyour situation.

    Last advice. If you get a call and your not sure that it is safe, don't be afraid to back off and call for help from the county or state. Dead firefighters don't put out fires or perform rescue.

    Stay safe,

    Pete
    Pete Sinclair
    Hartford, MI
    IACOJ (Retired Division)

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