Awful article, Firehouse should not have printed
I know there are problems with media writing about technical areas that they have no expertise in, but I am suprised that Firehouse would give this article on former director Browns testimony any space on their site. What an awful misrepresentation of facts.
The media is not willing to accept the fact that much of the preparation for disasters is a local responsibility. THey state is the article that Brown did not perform as well as Giulliani did after 2001, Duh, that was Ray Nagins job. Giuliani was not head of FEMA, he was the Mayor, like Ray Nagin is.. I think it was clear from the first day that the Governor was in full panic mode, and completely unable to do anything but be in the way.
This is not to say that Brown did things right. I was disturbed that he kept repeating that he could not get unity of command, and his answer seemed to be to leave the command post and take a field trip to survey the damage firsthand. Bad move, that did nothing to unify command. And there were many other mistakes made, but it seems that the locals are immune to any criticism, although the New Orleans Police Chief resigned today. I expect the Fire Chief is probably not far behind.
THe Feds walk a fine line of overstepping their bounds on every call out, in fact that is the usual complaint that is heard. It seems that most reports that I read feels that all major incidents are a Federal responsibility, I hope I never see that day.
I am sure that you think I work for a Federal agency, as that is all that is defending the Federal response, but I work for a Municipal Department, and Have for 25 years. But I am still suprised that Firehouse would give this article any life at all, what a one sided mess. I would like to see someone with some expertise break this response down, and shed some light on how a coordinated Fed, State, and local response should be run. THe Federal Govt. is a resource, I have never heard that they have total responsibility for all forseeable events. Sad to see Firehouse propogate this misunderstanding.
Anatomy and Physiology...NOT!
I too am not pleased with this (referenced Article), or other recent contributions from "AP" writers. In fact, my campaign in these weeks has been to respond to various TV and Print Media "talking heads" about what they don't know. I have no doubt many of my messages never reach these teleprompter talkers. It makes me feel better however, that maybe some staffer sees them. Perhaps someone will even look it up (well, it could happen, haha).
What Brown opened with today, was a good educational expose' of how/why FEMA does what it does. Unfortunately, the position jockeys on the Panel already know how the NRP works, as do many in our Industry. The Media generally isn't interested. Their format may/may not be agenda driven (leave this to our opinions), but their methods can clearly package anything/anyone to the public. And said Public is largely driven to focus on the "one eyed monster" in the living room. If a citizen or Department will just get a glimpse of what "tools" and advice FEMA offers them, AND if they heeded said advice, the outcome might be better. In any case they would know the part their local Officials should be doing. As we already know in Public Safety, most don't know how to prevent, prepare, or react to incidents. Some agencies are proactive in informing their community.
Brown will no doubt be one of the scapegoats in this, as we are in a political establishment. Even the Network news channel I prefer is falling into the blame game. Yeah, I wrote them too. :confused: