1. #1
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    Post DC delay Locals unaware

    If homeland security can't get it right in their own backyard.How can we make the system work elsewhere.
    Always a day late and a dollar short!

    Hillbilly Irish!

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    Default DC Delay keeps firefighters in the dark

    As an airplane with unknown intentions flew toward the U.S. Capitol and White House Wednesday, many of the cities' first responders were left to guess what was going on as they watched office workers running for their lives.


    First responders in Washington, D.C. only found out that an airplane had violated restricted air space around the Capitol and White House, potentially posing a threat to the city, from local media or phone calls from friends.

    The Associated Press reported that D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams said city officials weren't told about the threat until the all-clear was sounded, more than 10 minutes after the White House and Capitol were evacuated. A city government building that houses the mayoral and District of Columbia Council offices, located two blocks from the White House, was not evacuated according to AP.

    A D.C. firefighter told Firehouse.Com News that firefighters knew nothing about the potential terrorist attack as they rode their truck down city streets while watching F-16 jets flying overhead. On a routine maintenance trip, the jets could be seen out of the windows of their truck. It was not until they returned to the station that they found out by watching television what was going on. The fire station never received any sort of alert.

    District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department PIO Specialist Alan Etter said he was at work when the noise of jet engines rocked his office. He called Special Operations Chief Larry Schultz, and then Assistant Fire Chief for Operations James Martin, neither of whom knew of anything special happening. While watching CNN five minutes later, he saw the evacuations going on and again contacted Chief Martin who had just heard of the incident on WTOP Radio.

    Etter said it happened so fast and was over so quickly that, "We really didn't have time to do anything."

    Meanwhile, Capitol Hill Police and White House security officers were heard on live media yelling at workers at those sites to evacuate quickly. Live cameras showed workers running down the streets.

    D.C. Councilman Adrian Fenty spoke Thursday morning on local radio station WTOP AM and said, "The mayor has every right to be angry. It is a communication matter, you have to have good communication between federal and local authorities. But it's also a public safety matter. People forget that the mayor controls the police department and the fire department in this city, not the federal government. And so if anybody's going to run the show during the case of an emergency, it should be the mayor of the District of Columbia who's going to run the first responders."

    A link on the Department of Homeland Security Web site takes readers to a D.C. Web page that claims, "In an emergency, this site will provide real-time instructions to District residents and visitors." D.C. Gov

    Etter thought protocol was for communications to receive notification right away. He said Chief Martin was concerned that when something happens, "It is our firefighters who will be the first responders. It is our firefighters that when the plane hits, will be running into the burning building. We need as much information as possible to know what we are getting into," he said.

    "Washington D.C. Fire Department is the only game in town and our firefighters and incident commanders have to have as much information as possible. They should be in the initial command structure," Etter said.

    President Bush, reportedly biking in Maryland, also was not informed of the incident until it was over.

    Time Line:

    The incident began at 11:28 a.m. EST when Federal Aviation Administration radar picked up the aircraft. First alert went out when the plane was 21 miles _ about 17 minutes flying time _ from the city. One Black Hawk helicopter and one Cessna Citation jet were dispatched at 11:47 a.m. from Reagan National Airport. Authorities said the Citation established communication with the Cessna's pilot around 12:06 p.m. as two F-16 jet fighters moved in. The jets, scrambled from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, fired four warning flares before the plane turned away.

    12:03 p.m. White House evacuates Vice President Dick Cheney, first lady Laura Bush and former first lady Nancy Reagan. Capitol Police put the Capitol on red alert at 12:04 p.m. Capitol evacuates.

    12:10 p.m. DC Mayor gets paged –Two planes entering federal air space—per Sharon Gang, Deputy Director of communications, DC Mayor’s Office.

    12:14 p.m. All Clear
    Always a day late and a dollar short!

    Hillbilly Irish!

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    Default

    I have to say that it seems a little disturbing that once again, CNN is the most reliable form of information during a potential emergency.

    It won't do much good having all the new chemical toys and tools if you don't have enough warning to ensure your first responders protection.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

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    Originally posted by mcaldwell
    I have to say that it seems a little disturbing that once again, CNN is the most reliable form of information during a potential emergency.
    I think CNN itself is a bad example of reliable information. Perhaps the news media in gereral is a better discriptor.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Originally posted by nmfire


    I think CNN itself is a bad example of reliable information. Perhaps the news media in gereral is a better discriptor.
    Good Lord. Not much that CNN can do to put a "liberal spin" on breaking news like that. CNN or FoxNews or C-Span turned on in the ECC or Command Center would have alarted the DCFD and MPD almost as fast as anything from DHS, FAA, USCP or the USSS. And frankly I would rather they spend the few minutes they had getting the interceptors in the air and the potential targets warned then getting the responders staged. Think about it, if they did shoot down the plane, CNN would have had live coverage, DCFD would maybe be delayed by 30 seconds over being warned ahead of time, would that 30 seconds on scene make a real difference?
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    The problem is that there are some 30 police agencies inside of the District and they can't talk to each other let alone the one fire department that picks up after them. Some agencies like the FBI and Secret Service let us do our jobs while other like the Capitol police try to micromanage everything. Most of this is related to the same kind of problems the the FDNY is having with the NYPD over hazmat. Everyone wants to claim jurisdiction and get all the money without sharing anything.

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    Originally posted by drnapalm
    The problem is that there are some 30 police agencies inside of the District and they can't talk to each other let alone the one fire department that picks up after them. Some agencies like the FBI and Secret Service let us do our jobs while other like the Capitol police try to micromanage everything. Most of this is related to the same kind of problems the the FDNY is having with the NYPD over hazmat. Everyone wants to claim jurisdiction and get all the money without sharing anything.
    That is why we have a TV turned to CCn or Fox News 24/7, got to say though that CNN is much faster at realizing RELAVENT breaking news.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
    -Big Russ

    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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