FDNY Unviels Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness Strategy

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This is how 9/11 is not going to happen again.

In a report released yesterday, FDNY brass outline plans to avoid repeating the mistakes made on 9/11, when 343 firefighters were killed.

The "FDNY Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness Strategy" study comes in response to the scathing 2002 McKinsey Report, which found the department was badly limited by widespread communication failures, poor coordination with other agencies and overall bad planning.

The new strategy includes preparation for multiple disaster scenarios, a buildup of elite firefighters, high-tech equipment development and a procedural overhaul.

"These plans are all based from Sept. 11," Chief of Department Salvatore Cassano told The Post.

The planning effort was led by Deputy Assistant Chief Joseph Pfeifer, head of the FDNY Center for Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness, and one of the first on scene on Sept. 11.

Pfeifer lost his brother, Lt. Kevin Pfeifer, in the attack.

Among the department's goals in the ambitious 34-page plan are:

  • The preparation of a "Continuity of Operations Plan" establishing a protocol and chain of command in the event that communications are disrupted.

  • The development of new chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear bunker gear to allow firefighters to immediately enter a hazardous-material scene without putting on additional protective clothing.

  • Creation of a training program to help firefighters and medical responders identify suspicious materials, activities and symptoms.

"The 'Strategy' gives a clear and concise road map on how the FDNY can best protect millions of New Yorkers," Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta said.

The report claims that the department has decentralized command and response resources so each borough is prepared to deal with a disaster independently.

Since the McKinsey Report highlighted massive failures in radio communications at the World Trade Center, the department has said its radios are now tuned to the same frequencies as other city agencies.

But the report revealed that the FDNY also intends to work with the city's Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications to create a new wireless radio system.

Republished with permission of The New York Post.

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