1. #1
    FlyingKiwi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    New Zealand

    Default An open letter to George Wendt


    1. CIMS and FEMA a comparison?

    I realise this may sound a bit utopian, so give me your views on this concept.

    Down here (in Kiwi Land) we have CIMS (Co-ordinated Incident Management System). This is based on a growth level of involvement from local to regional to national involvement of personnel and equipment.

    Depending on the CIMS incident the best equipped and focused division of the services runs the incident. eg. for a city wide fire incident the Police would NOT be in control, Likewise a City wide riot would NOT see the USAR team running it.

    One advantage that we do have is that our Police, Fire, Ambulance, Military (both Full time and volunteer) are a single nationwide entity. No differences in training occur, and very little variances in equipment (solely a Fire Service issue here) mean a team from North goes South and slots right in.

    Once you stick your hand up and say "We need CIMS", everything just starts happening. The Government is left to do what it does, and everyone in the incident mitigation makes the system happen.

    Resources are there for the asking, and everyone is repeatedly told to ASK for them, the theory being if you don't ask, you will never receive. Maybe this is Utopian, but we have had some damn nasty buggers over the last few years and have managed to deal with them a bloody site better than the shambles we are witnessing now.

    2. We are embarrassed.

    On a side note, and a personally sad thing from our end of the world.

    Every time a major event hits, Tsunami at New Years Day is the obvious comparison. We have been inundated by organisations wailing for money and donations to help the victims and rebuild their shattered lives.

    Not a damn thing this time, and I am disgusted.

    We have watched the news coverage of US troops deployed on humanitarian issues for years, even to the point of giving their lives. And now.....

    A cold heartless NOTHING.

    Hell why should the International Red Cross, NATO, or even the UN request help? You guys either bank roll them now, or rebuilt them once or twice in the past after their own wars. My view is you should put some heat on somewhere to say "Stuff You" in the loudest tones by pulling their money and putting it where it is needed.

    A "Great Democracy" at times needs to turn inwards as much as it needs to look outwards.

    All that being said, our prayers from down here are following all of those involved in this catastrophe.

    Kia Kaha
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Flanders, NJ



    1. I do not think that there is a comparison between the way CIMS would operate when everything is nationalized and the way the US operates with its ascending levels of jurisdiction. I also don't think that this is good or bad, just different.

    The social more of local jurisdiction has been a sacred cow in the US since its inception 225 or so years ago. When it comes to disaster planning and mitigation, this has also been true. you will hear alot of calls for "nationwide mutual aid." this is born mostly out of the frustration that FF are feeling that they go to MS or LA and get their hands dirty using their knowledge and skills. I would suibmit to you, however, if there was a push to "nationalize" for lack of a better word the fire service in the US, there would be an enormous effort to resist it.

    As far as FEMA goes, the thing that is being exploited by people for anticpated political gain is that, even when FEMA was not in the DHS, they were a huge federal bureaucracy that was not set up to provide first responder assistance. They never were and, under the current setup of fire and EMS, shouldn't be.

    What FEMA did do quite well, was to provide multiple outlets for local jurisdictions to recieve diaster preparedness training and assistance. Following the thinking of fire prevention, if a community is prepared to react and respond to a natural disaster BEFORE it happens, they will, in all likelihood, react and respond appropriately WHEN the natural disaster occurs. DHS has effectively stripped FEMA of this mission and ability and that is a shame. No one, especially in the emergency services, should view FEMA as a emergency response agency. They are, and always have been, an advisory agency.

    2. The US is the most blessed country on this earth. We have a tremendous amount of resources and assets. We have a tremendous amount of wealth. No country ever used their power and wealth to accomplish as much good as the US has. We are very generous with our wealth and rpovide more foreign aid than any other country. However...

    Until we get a grip on the true costs of this disaster, it may be time to put a hold on even one nickel of foreign aid tuntil we take care of our own people.

    I know that this is an unprecedented step. But this is an unprecendented event.

    I am surprised that the Aussie government has offered no aid at all. They have been friends for a long time. It is unquestionable that we would pull out all the stops to help Australia if the circumstances were reversed. But we'll get by without them. Butno one should be surprised if the US has a very long memory.

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