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  1. #261
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    Quote Originally Posted by krg1401
    When Hurricane Dennis threatened the Florida coast, State OEM and FEMA resources were pre-staged. Why, because we requested such. These are leasons learned from Andrew. Yes the response to that hurricane was a C.F., and we learned from that. Hurricane Ivan proved to us that prestaged equipment and personnel can make a huge difference on response. Maybe nobody expected this much devestation, but if the requests would have been made, I can't help but wonder how much a difference we would have seen. Maybe, just maybe, the local and state planners should have prepared themselves a little better. The resources were available prior to landfall.

    God Bless the brothers and sisters still there.
    The area was declared a federal disaster area prior to the storm even making landfall upon requests of the state officials in the affected areas. This is the first time in history that an area was declared a federal disaster area prior to the disaster taking place. This allowed pre-staged supplies/resources to surrounding areas. While we were aware that we would be on our own for at least 36-48 hours in a normal disaster, we thought that help would arrive quicker with the pre-disaster declaration. It has been over 96 hours since the commencement of rescue efforts and only now is help beginning to arrive. We were somewhat prepared (although we have learned several things that will be improved upon) and operations only began to really break down after the first 36-48 hours. It also did not help that no concerted effort was made to control the looters/hoodlums in the beginning and therefore it was allowed to escalate. However, the media has sensationalized some of those actions. All people that our personnel rescued were extremely grateful. But, after 96 hours with no shelter, no food, no water - desperation really sets in (there was some food & water at the Superdome, but that ran out pretty quick - less than 24 hours - local & state fault there).


  2. #262
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmleblanc
    More like DEFINITELY. Been trying for 3 days to offer our services and I have been in touch with a half a dozen different agencies (no mean feat considering how hard it is to get any phone calls through this week). At least 3 different agencies were supposed to call me back and I'm still waiting .

    In case you haven't noticed by now, Louisiana is a fairly ***-backwards banana republic in many respects. We do not have an effective and comprehensive mutual aid system like some states do. There are lots of local mutual aid agreements all around, but there are really no provisions for a true regional or state-wide response. No standardization of resources, communications, nothing....hell, we don't even have any minimum standards to be a firefighter (another thread, another day...)

    You'd think we'd be more prepared to handle a major hurricane, seeing as how that's one of our likely scenarios. Of course, I don't suppose any amount of planning would prepare you for something of this magnitude.

    There is a lack of command structure in this incident....no one agency or entity is clearly in charge, so everyone is in charge. I've already commented on the fact that the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries was initially in charge of the rescue function....WTF? Louisiana State Police also tried to take charge early on, but the response just ended up being so much freelancing...how could you possibly take command of something so tremendously huge, both in terms of number of victims involved and geographic area affected. I know that out West they have some mighty big wildfire incidents, but they happen every year and they have a game plan in place....and of course, they're not Louisiana....
    You hit the nail on the head!!!!!

  3. #263
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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  4. #264
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    Unhappy

    Chief LeBlanc and everyone out there in New Orleans

    My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Stay safe and please take care. I saw that thread Josh, but I don't have a TV so I don't have any up to date information. I hope everyone is ok.

    sherry

  5. #265
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    To all the Brothers and Sisters in the gulf region, my heart goes out to all of you..Hang in there..


    Now, by profession I am a 9-1-1 Dispatcher...Does anyone know contacts for any of the comm centers to see how they are doing and if their people need relief??


    Thanks for any info...

  6. #266
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaybird210
    I'm with you, MIKEY. For how many years have we heard them talking about New Orleans and what could happen with a devastating hit, but that "officials" were making plans? What plans? Herd everybody to the Superdome and the Convention Center and then just let 'em sit? The paper this morning quoted a New Orleans official saying the national government's response to this crisis is a "naitonal disgrace." I think he's right.

    Two more thoughts for everyone:


    1. As a chief who has had some disaster training, I have always been told to expect no help from the state governement for up to 24 hours. And expect no help from the feds for 48 hours. It takes that much time to mobilize. I can understand that. It's been four days now. How do you reconcile that timeframe against MIKEY's comment?
    Very good points Jay. But I don't feel its fair to place all the blame the delays on the Feds. The biggest problem to me appears to be on the local and state level. What happened to planning for a disaster? It’s not like all these people just woke up to find a hurricane in their town. The NWS predicted it was coming and nothing was done. To me when you live in an area that is BELOW sea level you need a worst-case disaster plan and have to be able to implement it. Once the locals dropped the ball in the initial stage its difficult to catch back up.
    There is damage over a large area and everyone expects help instantly. It’s not going to happen in just a few hours but I am sure everyone is doing everything they can to help!

    I have also been trained about the 24 and 48-hour guidelines for state and federal assistance but we have to remember that is for here in IL. where we have a strong state emergency plan in place to get these agencies activated immediately. The longer it takes to activate the longer it is untill they deploy. It may take the feds a while to respond but they stay until it’s over.
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  7. #267
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Angry Delays ARE Inexcusable................... ....

    Was this Hurricane a big secret to everyone? Didn't think so. With that why weren't the PROPER resources predeployed to points where they would have safe, yet quick (relatively) response time. This thing was moving South to North, like most hurricanes do in that part of the world. So, preposition Strike Teams in places like Dothan and Birmingham Alabama, Nashville, Little Rock, Port Arthur Texas, and so on. Yes, these teams would be responding for several hundred miles, but that's better than several thousand.
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  8. #268
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    For the umpteenth time;

    All of you OEM types, please correct me if I am wrong...

    Disaster preparedness begins at the local level. As each level of government's resources are exceeded, requests are made to the next level for assistance.

    It is not the federal government's responsibility to be the first responders to a natural disaster. It is a local and State problem first. The NO Mayor and the Gov. of LA should be tossed out of their offices on their respective asses when this emergency is over.

    BTW, whoever suggested that they use the military to enforce the law in the streets...YOU CAN'T. It is against the law. Ya know, that Posse Comatatus thing.

  9. #269
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    That is how it is done up here George, and since our model is based on yours, I have to assume the same structure applies south of the border.

    The one thing to consider though, is that it is virtually impossible for a city to completely prepare for the 100 year storm like what may have been experienced here. Especially when it is not a wealthy city. The States and Federal Gov't (FEMA)'s responsibility is to maintain the contingency plan for these such incidents.

    There will be plenty of blame to go around once this is over.
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  10. #270
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcaldwell
    That is how it is done up here George, and since our model is based on yours, I have to assume the same structure applies south of the border.

    The one thing to consider though, is that it is virtually impossible for a city to completely prepare for the 100 year storm like what may have been experienced here. Especially when it is not a wealthy city. The States and Federal Gov't (FEMA)'s responsibility is to maintain the contingency plan for these such incidents.

    There will be plenty of blame to go around once this is over.
    In our system, it is absolutely NOT the federal government's responsibility to maintain a "contingency plan" for a natural disaster. It is the local agencies responsibility. It is also their responsibility to ask for help when they can no longer handle the situation.

  11. #271
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 91068fd
    To all the Brothers and Sisters in the gulf region, my heart goes out to all of you..Hang in there..


    Now, by profession I am a 9-1-1 Dispatcher...Does anyone know contacts for any of the comm centers to see how they are doing and if their people need relief??


    Thanks for any info...
    Try a PM to Cellblock. He's a ham radio operator and he has been doing some communication work during this thing.....maybe he knows where communication help is needed....
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
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    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  12. #272
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Well, our offer to help has finally been accepted. At 0600 this morning 5 PVFD members, as well as firefighters from Napoleonville and Pierre Part, headed down to West Jefferson to participate in the rescue....hopefully there will still be some rescues to make .

    After running up against numerous brick walls with the La. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, State Police, Parish OEP, State OEP, and the U.S. Coast Guard, we finally hooked up with the Gonzales Fire Department, who have been sending teams down there all week. Haven't heard from them yet regarding conditions. I'm off tomorrow (Labor Day) so I will likely join up with Gonzales if they're going down again. Will keep you posted.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  13. #273
    MembersZone Subscriber EFD840's Avatar
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    BTW, whoever suggested that they use the military to enforce the law in the streets...YOU CAN'T. It is against the law. Ya know, that Posse Comatatus thing.
    George, I almost always agree with you but this time I think you're falling victim to the spindoctors. Fact is, the US military is often used to quell civil unrest and enforce domestic law. Consider these examples:
    • The use of the 82nd Airborne to enforce desegregation of Arkansas schools
    • The use of the 82nd and other units to stop rioting in Washington, Chicago, Cincy and other cities after the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr.
    • The use of the 7th Infantry Division and the USMC to quell the LA riots of 1992
    • Ongoing anti-drug operations

    The use of our armed forces to target shoplifters or attempt to reduce plain old street crime in a city with a functioning infrastructure would clearly be wrong but that's not the case here. This situation esclated to the point you had armed thugs interfering with rescue and relief efforts and hindered or outright prevented the rescue of a stranded population that exceeded the population of my entire county. The use of the military would have been completely in line with their duty to protect against all enemies, both foreign and domestic.

    Here's a link to a research paper on the subject that covers the domestic use of the military all the way back to the whiskey rebellion.

    There are a lot of spin doctors ramping up to use Posse Comatatus as an excuse for the delay in military assets reaching the scene. I don't believe it for a second. I think what we're seeing is simply DHS getting ready to protect the empire, much like the various intel agencies did post 9/11 and they see Posse Comatatus as something to hang their hat on.

    Changing the subject a little....

    It seems to me that Cerntoff's already in CYA mode to the point I turn the channel when he comes on now. If I hear him say one more time that 'we never anticipated this', I think my head will explode. If National Geographic knew it could/would happen, why didn't DHS (maybe because it wasn't a disaster that started and ended with 't' and had 'orris' in the middle?). The link goes to a story written a year ago that describes this event so accurately it will give you goose bumps.

    It seems to me everything got rolling once President Bush got personally involved. I know the Bush haters will bash me and blame him for the delay but SOMEONE finally said to call in the troops and only he has that authority. We will likely never know what transpired to turn the operation around but from the outside it looks he put his trust in his DHS staff, they failed him miserably, and it took him a couple of days to realize it. If that's the case heads should roll. Particularly those heads that are already on TV looking to shift the blame.

    Just to be clear, I'm not talking about the apparent lack of evacuation or the first 48 hours. Those are state and local responsibilities and any credit or blame belongs at that level; however, I just can't find any reason for the three or so days it took to get assets in place after the local systems collapsed.
    Last edited by EFD840; 09-04-2005 at 01:38 PM.

  14. #274
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    On a side note, I think we all know now why Tom Ridge resigned as DHS director. He knew what little progress had been made since 9/11, regardless of what the Bush administration was leading us all to belive.
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  15. #275
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    I sat and read most of the stuff on the Posse Comitatus Act. It does not apply in this instance.

    First, the Act only applies to the Army and the Air Force. The DOD administratively applies it to the Navy.

    It does not apply to the National Guard or the Coast Guard.

    There are rules and regs that refer to the use of military equipment and members in a civilian occurence; a quick google on the words "posse comitatus" will bring all of them up.

    Bottom line on what I read - all they gotta do is ASK.

    (That, of course, completely backs-up George's original assertion; even in emergencies there is a chain of command. The Town has to ask the State for help, and the State has to ask the Feds for help. Looks like they did neither.)

  16. #276
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    Default Fire Shirts Off Our Backs

    Hey...
    So many of us want to help our Brother and Sister firefighters effected in the Gulf Coast-and thanks to the IAFF, the NVFC, the IAFC and many others-there are many outstanding ways to help-especially from a financial standpoint. Go to their sites for more details.

    Additionally, here is a very simple, low cost, meaningful way to help your Brother and Sister Firefighters...all of them....quickly.

    A friend of ours Pete Matthews (from Firehouse) started collecting some FD T-shirts for a friend of ours-and many of yours-N.O.F.D. District Chief (and world known fire photographer) Chris Mickal. The folks at Fire-Rescue Magazine also joined in the effort. The goal was to help a friend. Well, now-there are plenty of shirts that will soon be delivered to Chris... but then we realized that EVERY FF down there could use some clean T-shirts. So I talked to some friends about this idea.
    Nothing fancy-and of course, they will need more than shirts, but this is a start. And it would be from firefighters to firefighters without anyone else in between. Remember that the majority of FF's in those areas have lost everything.

    If you and/or your FD can spare some new (unused) FD T-shirts of varied sizes, please join in on the firefighters 'THE SHIRTS OFF OUR BACKS" plan to provide as many FD T-shirts from the USA, Canada and from all over the world so they can see some immediate relief...and KNOW how much FIREFIGHTERS take care of FIREFIGHTERS. Everytime they wear one of your T-shirts...they will know.

    Send your T-shirt(s) as soon as possible to:


    FIRE SHIRTS OFF OUR BACKS
    c/o Bladensburg Fire Rescue Co. 9
    4213 Edmonston Road
    Bladensburg, Maryland 20710


    Not only will these shirts be delivered quickly by firefighters for firefighters and be a welcome comfort-but they will provide those firefighters with HOPE...something that is extremely critical for their survival right now. They will know first hand how much your FD and your FIREFIGHTERS really care.
    Small gesture-BIG payoff.

    PLEASE FORWARD THIS E-MAIL, POST THIS E-MAIL AND PASS ON THIS E-MAIL TO OTHER FIREFIGHTERS.

    Thanks-Take Care,
    BillyG & GordonG
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  17. #277
    MembersZone Subscriber tyler101's Avatar
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    Was told that NO PIO and two cops commited suicide yesterday. Also guestimated death toll was to be around 25-30K.

  18. #278
    Cpt. Common Sents nbfcfireman's Avatar
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    I dont know about that number but were you by any chance watching FOX. they have seemed to be jumping the gun a little bit. I have heard things such as the entire police force deserted to cops were being held hostage in a hospital

  19. #279
    Disillusioned Subscriber Steamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyler101
    Was told that NO PIO and two cops commited suicide yesterday. Also guestimated death toll was to be around 25-30K.
    I hadn't heard about the PIO, but one of the news channels showed film of them talking to a NOPD official about the 2 suicides.

    I think it was CNN, but they've all blurred together.

    EDIT: AP is reporting there were 2 suicides involving NOPD officers. One of them was the PIO. Police officer death story
    Last edited by Steamer; 09-05-2005 at 01:43 AM.
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  20. #280
    Disillusioned Subscriber Steamer's Avatar
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    I just found this. Talk about eerie....look at the date.

    NOVA hurricane video
    Steve Gallagher
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    "I don't apologize for anything. When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

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