10-07-2005, 05:00 AM #51
There seems to alot of "Phoenix Envy".
- Join Date
- Oct 2005
If it was a small unknown department and they brought thier own security forces(without authorization) would it be different?
Any body with half a brain and partial homeostasis would know that NOLA isn't a place where there are a lot of "good cops". 10 hours after the storm had blown through and reports of looting, rape, and murders were not just reported, but "common". I would have done the same thing. Hell, there were military helicopters refusing to land due to "shots fired".
This isn’t text book theory or something you learn in a class room with no real variables. This is in-your-face-real-world… in a part of the country with a reputation that is way less than “nice”… as we all watched.
We don't know that FEMA (or any other responsible agency) "failed to protect them." That information hasn't been made available.
The long and short of it is that Bruno's team went cowboy. That's just plain unprofessional however you look at it.
What other responsible agency? FEMA was all they had until the Military took over.
NO. The short and long story is AZ-TF1 did what they had to do in a situation that had no command, no plan, and no support/resources. Unprofessional... HA, you have to be kidding me! NOLA resembled the streets of Sudan's war-torn Darfur region on a smaller and less bloody scale… Call a spade a spade and everyone will be better off.
You can't sit back and say unprofessional all you want. The reality is AZ-TF1 didn't create Katrina; they did what they had to do to help. Would you rather them stay at home? If your answer is yes, fine. It’s your loss not theirs.
FEMA is taking a beating in D.C. and they are attempting to deflect the story. Classic straw man strategy, and its making them look even worse (yes, that is possible and further unbelievable…). What I find to be lacking is the finger pointing to the individuals in charge of the State and the City itself.
The real story is the lack of leadership from the FEMA director > to gov. Blanco > to Mayor Nagin > to N.O. Police Dept. All were inept bumbling idiots, and the military made them look like a bunch of fools.
10-07-2005, 10:11 AM #52Originally Posted by losdogedog
10-07-2005, 11:49 PM #53
- Join Date
- Apr 2004
- Northern Florida
I'm interested in seeing what the new director has to say about all this... Him being a former Miami chief and all...
FEMA can push its rules and codes all it wants... I dont think there's any way for them to convince the majority of the fire service that they made the right decision here.IAFF - Fire/EMS
10-11-2005, 04:45 AM #54
- Join Date
- May 2002
- St. Louis Area
I support the choice Phoenix USAR made. For those who don’t know and didn’t participate in the hardest hit areas, teams were told for a minimum of 30 days you will be on your own in very Spartan conditions. You are hearing and seeing things from the Superdome and other areas in NO. There were REAL incidents, altercation and threats toward people working for FEMA around the region. It is a fact one EOC in the region was burglarized by people posing as Red Cross workers. There were many things which were not reported or reported incorrectly about conditions in certain areas. The only suggestion to Phoenix I would have made, keep the weapons concealed in a bag. I am sure they will still discharge threw the fabric.
Maybe if many leaders were not placing policy, liability, jurisdiction and egos over the need to perform efficiently and effectively the operation would have went better. I mean at all levels of government. It is clear following the text book at every moment hinders the rescue effort. HINT: it was report by people in need, resources took too long to arrive. Maybe it isn’t a good idea to have armed security within the teams. I hope in the future “adequate” armed security will be pre-staged before any assets are sent to an area with possible civil unrest. But, that would prolong the deployment process wouldn’t it. We can’t have it text book fashion and the best performance or conditions with an operation of this magnitude.
10-11-2005, 02:13 PM #55
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
I Will Say This, The Crews We Sent To Both Katrina And Rita Broke The "fema Rules" To Survive Their Deployment. After Talking With The Members Who Went And Worked Their Tales Off They Would Do The Same As Phoenix. The Stories Our People Faced First Hand Were Incredible. Then You Find Out That The Only Real Care Given To My Memebers Was From The Frie Depts In The Area. My People Could Not Even Get The Arm Bands To Qualify For Cots And Showers In Air Conditioned Buildings. The Rule Most Often Broken Was Not To Allow Your Apparatus To Idle In Staging. Well You Can't Go Inside Because They Won't Give You An Arm Band And You Have No Other Way To Cool Als Supplies. With The Temps In The 100's Meds And Personel Needed The A/c. Make No Mistake We Were Asked By Fema To Be There But They Had No Span Of Control What So Ever.
My Point To Everyone B$tching That They Broke The Playground Rules Is This. Bruno Saw The Need To Protect His Ff's And Did So. I Wish We Had Had The Forsight To Do The Same. Fema Had Better Get Their Heads Out Of Politics And Back Into Mitigating The Diaster At Hand. We Saw First Hand The Organization Of The Fema Folks And They Have No Clue. I Do Hope The New Director Can Work Miracles. The Next Pandemic Of Bird Flu Could Be At Our Doorstep And Without Major Changes It Will Be Total Chaos.
10-11-2005, 04:11 PM #56Originally Posted by ETAB4U
In the emergency preparedness cycle there are four phases: mitigation*, preparedness, response, and recovery. Of the four, response is the smallest part of FEMA's missions.
IMHO, most of the difficulties encountered with the response to Katrina/Rita are the result of poor/absent efforts at mitigation and preparedness at the local and state levels -- not failures in response from the federal level. Let's not forget that the natural disaster, Katrina, was just part of the disaster equation. The subsequent failure of the levees was a technological failure that could probably have been prevented or at least reduced had the local and state authorities practiced better risk mitigation and disaster preparation.
*(mitigation happens before the emergency -- not during or after)"Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.
10-11-2005, 06:53 PM #57Originally Posted by DeputyMarshalI can't believe they actually pay me to do this!!!
One friend noted yesterday that a fire officer only carries a flashlight, sometimes prompting grumbling from firefighters who have to lug tools and hoses.
"The old saying is you never know how heavy that flashlight can become," the friend said.
-from a tragic story posted on firefighterclosecalls.com
10-12-2005, 12:06 PM #58
- Join Date
- May 2002
- St. Louis Area
FEMA handles logistics. It assigns missions, making the call where people and resources go. The problems were logistical and correctable. Even though FEMA by numbers was small compared collectively to all the agencies present. Just as the command staff is smaller than the rest of the line staff(It should be that way ). It had the TOP chair. I think overall FEMA(the top on down) did a good job, but what was needed was for FEMA to do a GREAT job. Collectively we could have performed much better and done a GREAT job. Doing average when your best is required doesn’t cut it .
I am delighted Phoenix had security 24/7 and performed without incident, to my knowledge. This conversation would be different if harm came to someone and the media was involved. I am sure Phoenix understood the repercussions if an incident occurred.
In disasters of a lower magnitude, sending teams into a city or county(parish) devastated to perform a task their teams are trained, equipped and manned for is a routine. The system and the current rules are working well on “those” scales of incidents. Most times, there are enough police, National Guard, security and justice department people to draw from on short notice. For a short time we had insufficient or no protection around the clock. Change the policies, the culture, assigned people who can toss the textbook out and still perform to management positions and get it right next time. First rule, make sure everyone comes home.
Last edited by SCSESATech; 10-12-2005 at 12:09 PM.
10-14-2005, 06:51 PM #59
My dept. is located only 60 miles from NOLA, so we were one of the first rescue teams on scene. Here are a few comments from first-hand observations.
Once you arrived into the city, the word FEMA did not appear anywhere. There were no services, power, or any communications at all on the scene. Thats a whole other thread in itself.
No matter where you went, the scene was not secure, there really were gunshots and other acts at and around rescuers. I was deployed there with a SWAT team used to protect our 200 man rescue team. Assigned to the worst part of the city (St. Bernard Projects and surrounding) People there were desperate, hungry, and sick people, and were ready to do anything to better their situation. So many people were still there WANTING to be rescued, that they still had to occur. There was just no egress to those people without needing to protect the team.
It took us until day three to get State Troopers assigned with us, with the NOPD bailing (they have more officers than the entire LSP) there were not enough police to go around. Not that the manpower was not needed, but there were way too many rescue teams there without orders, freelancing, to make one total effort. There was no way to control the response from Joe Q. Firefighter with his own boat.
If Bruno had any firsthand accounts from the scene before he deployed, I would have made the same descision that he did. There was a job to be done, but first priority must be made to protect us. I thats one rule I would break and ask for forgiveness later.CHAOS = Chief Has Arrived on Scene
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