9/11/01-FEMA Mobilizes 12 Urban Search & Rescue Teams


Washington, D.C., 9/11/01--The Federal Emergency Management Agency has deployed 12 Urban Search & Rescue Teams -- eight to NY and four to DC--to search for victims in buildings damaged by Tuesday's apparent terrorist attacks. The teams operate around the clock and include engineers and other technical experts and specially trained search dogs.

The National US&R, coordinated by FEMA, provides for the response of expertly well-equipped urban search & rescue teams from over the country to assist where resources are overwhelmed.

I met a couple of these folks recently. Like many, it seems they've fallen between the cracks in our post 9/11 world. I was surprised to hear they've been excluded from the Health Effects Study.

Further, they were not provided with mandatory or voluntary counseling services. One team member indicated they had contacted FEMA seeking counseling and it was denied.

I'm posting this for two reasons--one because I hope those who know what these folks see when they close their eyes will reach out to them.

The second reason for posting is my hope that you'll do as I did and consider contacting President Bush with your thoughts on FEMA's "policy". The response, in part, that I received was:

"your correspondence has been received and forwarded to the Department of Homeland Security and they will be contacting you as soon as possible."

It's been several weeks since I received this "response". I'm hoping e-mails from a few more concerned citizens might prompt them to move it along.

Thanks for your time and, if you're inclined to help, your help.