Having watched the disaster unfold in the Gulf states, I call into question fire service thinking. Since September 11, tremendous funding and training time has been spent on recognizing, responding and mitigating terrorist attacks and WMD threats. Each year, however, the fire service continues to lose roughly the same number of firefighters to the same causes as 10 yrs. ago. We are losing touch with the basics, in part, because we are training constantly on advanced problems. Granted these problems have potential for unimaginable consequences, but the likelihood of their occurence is much less. Sadly, I can predict the loss of another 100 firefighters or more due to the same things as last year, but I cannot predict when the next terrorist attack will occur.
Which brings me to our current disaster. All the training on terrorist attacks would be better spent on training for natural disasters. These occur with relative frequency, but receive little attention from the fire service as a nationwide problem to be tackled. I reccommend regional training for responding to the next Katrina, or the next San Francisco earthquake. Has your department ever received training for urban search and rescue after a natural disaster? Certainly our USAR teams have this training, but the majority of search and rescue done in the first 24 hours of any incident are done by everday suppression firefighters. What training have we done for breaching, shoring, etc? Techniques which can be applied to basic firefighting.
Along these same lines, what plans does your department have for dealing with a large scale disaster? If this happened in your jurisdiction, can you say where you would send refugees? What can we do for them? We should have contingency plans to begin the evacuation process. We are America's front-line defense against all disasters, natural or man-made. We are concerned foremost with life safety. Unfortunately, we don't usually don't have plans for caring for our citizens after the fire, the disaster. We keep millions of dollars of equipment on hand for specialized rescue, but how many cots and gallons of water, or MREs does your department have pre-positioned? I respect the mission of the Red Cross, but can we wait for them?
I suggest a change in thinking to plan for the next Katrina. While we're at it, we should have department policies in place to plan for evacuation of firefighter families. Why? As we have seen in New Orleans, our families and homes can become involved in these major disasters. Evacuating our families to safety as a department policy gives our members peace of mind and allows us to focus on our duty to the citizens we serve.
I welcome your comments and thoughts, as we need to change our response thinking. God bless our brothers and sisters struggling with the effects of Katrina, and God bless all of us in our daily endeavors.
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Thread: Culture Change Needed?
09-03-2005, 11:52 AM #1
- Join Date
- Oct 2004
Culture Change Needed?
09-03-2005, 01:34 PM #2
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
- Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
The Captain is Correct.........
Chris, you are right on the money with this. As of now, we can put 10 people on a space platform faster than we can put 10 rescuers in a major gulf coast city. This is more than shameful, it's criminal.Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
In memory of
Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006
IACOJ Budget Analyst
I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.
09-03-2005, 02:05 PM #3
- Join Date
- Mar 2003
- S. Jersey/Northern Delaware
...And we can mobilize thousands of Military Troops to baby-sit foreign countries, hand away our federal dollars to poor nations, and give away free business loans to foreigners in order to "give them a better life" --- Well how about our nation's citizens ? -- Sometimes I just don't think our Nation's leaders have a clue about priorities and where the Money as well as the Military Belongs.
09-03-2005, 02:11 PM #4
Originally Posted by BD6413
- Join Date
- Dec 2002
- Rural Iowa
The troops in Iraq are there for a reason. Stop whining.
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