I just read Chief Goldfeders comments concerning the response of DHS for this mess down south. I also urge you to read it.
When DHS absorbed the Fire Administation as part of their restructuring I could already read the writing on the wall as to the path they would be on. My main objection at that time was that the Assistance to Firefighter grants would be cancelled. Well they did not cancel the program but they did dilute it trying to tie it in to Homeland defense. My view in this situation is that the United States will experience more situations such as natural disasters than they will acts of terroism and that we should prepare for them accordingly.
I have seen grants awarded on state levels so that agencies can "Bullet-Proof " there means of communications. Yet in this disaster communications were one of the first things to fail.WHAT WERE THEY SPENDING THE MONEY ON? Integrated command has been a buzz-word lately how much money was spent on this training and how fast was it forgotten.
As most of you know ..in an emergency we do not have the luxury to sit down in committe and discuss what we are going to do. These plans have to be in place and all people on the same page. I do not believe that the Federal Monster called DHS can move fast enough in its buracrecy to do this. History has proven over and over that the fire service is expected to step to the plate in times like this. History has also proven that whenever times are good the fire service gets tossed to the side and stepped on. I dont know if I am more mad at the DHS for trying to act like an emergency response agency or the fact that our federal representatives in the fire service rolled over and accepted the subservant position they were put in. We as the responding personnel must let our government leaders know that we do not condone how things were handled by the DHS and to our federal fire leadership that we do not accept being involved as a subservant part of that group.
Please read Chief Goldfeders article, and I look forward to your replys to see if my views are wide spread or if maybe I need to step back and evaluate my position. My thoughts and prayers are with the all those involved in this tragedy.