Firefighting gear stockpile unused
From CNN Producer Mike M. Ahlers
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Nine stockpiles of fire-and-rescue equipment strategically placed around the country to be used in the event of a catastrophe still have not been pressed into service in New Orleans, five days after Hurricane Katrina, CNN has learned.
Responding to a CNN inquiry, Department of Homeland Security spokesman Marc Short said Friday the gear has not been moved because none of the governors in the hurricane-ravaged area has requested it.
A federal official said the department's Office for Domestic Preparedness reminded the Louisiana and Mississippi governors' offices about the stockpiles on Wednesday and Thursday, but neither governor had requested it. (See the mayor blister feds for requiring formal queries for help -- 0:34)
The gear -- including generators, radios, breathing apparatus, cots and other items -- is stockpiled by DHS in nine locations. The three closest to New Orleans are College Station, Texas; Columbia, S.C.; and Clearwater, Fla. The gear is intended to replenish or sustain up to 150 first responders.
Contractors who maintain the gear are required to transport it to a disaster site no later than 12 hours after the initial request is made by local authorities and approved by DHS.
Short said that while the stashes contain some items like generators, much of the gear would not be useful in the circumstances faced by the Gulf Coast region.
But Steve Beaumont, a retired contract manager for Homeland Security's Prepositioned Equipment Program, said the gear would be helpful for fire departments wiped out by the hurricane. Each pod has 200 radios, including sophisticated equipment to make radios inter-operable, tying different communications systems together. (Watch the video of first responders in 'hell' -- 3:25)
"The concept was basically, if you had a major incident, this equipment could be brought into the city and reconstitute the local first responders. So they get fresh bunking gear, breathing apparatus," Beaumont said.
Each stockpile consists of a tractor-trailer filled with $2.2 million in gear, he said. Contractors are on call 24 hours a day to move the gear.
"There has been no movement of this equipment to this emergency. As of now there's been no movement at all," Beaumont said. (See the video of the mayor demanding feds to 'get off their asses' -- 12:09)
"I think it's sad because you've got almost ... $20 million worth of gear that's ready to be distributed. You've firefighters (in New Orleans) fighting fires in shorts. That tells me they're running out of stuff."
The project is run by DHS' Office for Domestic Preparedness.
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09-03-2005, 06:36 AM #1
- Join Date
- Dec 2000
Firefighting gear stockpile unusedFTM-PTB-DTRT
09-03-2005, 06:52 AM #2
- Join Date
- Jul 1999
- Flanders, NJ
Not the President's problem, not the Governor's problem. They probably didn't know she had to request it.
A person is paid by each state whose job it is to know this stuff. State OEM Directors-its their problem.
09-03-2005, 07:11 AM #3
Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
- Join Date
- Jul 2001
- Not the end of the earth but I can see it from here...
It's becoming obvious that much of the available Federal aid that has been so slow in coming, is simply because no one has requested it. Someone at the State level should have a list of what resources are available and begin making those calls immediately. It does not appeaar that this is being doneChief Dwayne LeBlanc
Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
"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"
09-03-2005, 12:47 PM #4Originally Posted by dmleblanc
IMHO, they shouldnt have to request it. This is either a cop out or poor planning from DHS. So what would happen if terrorists had struck the state capitaland knocked the state government out? What would DHS do then, still not send anything cause no one called for it?
Its too bad that there are 3 trucks full of gear about 10 minutes from my house that are just sitting there.
BTW, nice to see your still with us Chief.Fire Marshal/Safety Officer
"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
Success is when skill meets opportunity
Failure is when fantasy meets reality
09-03-2005, 12:59 PM #5
Originally Posted by dmleblanc
- Join Date
- Dec 2002
- Rural Iowa
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