WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- In recent years, terrorism experts around the world have voiced concern the next attack on U.S. soil could come from someone posing as a first responder. DC Fire & EMS Department Assistant Chief Larry Schultz expressed similar worries as he ran the department's efforts for the Inauguration in January.
Then why does the District of Columbia still sell its surplus fire gear at public auction?
DC Fire & EMS Department spokesman Alan Etter tells 9NEWS NOW the auction of surplus material has long been done by the DC government. Etter says the department has some concerns the fire gear is being disposed of this way, but that the intent is not to aid criminal actions.
While the public can buy firefighting gear from many fire service suppliers, much of the gear that is auctioned in DC still has the markings and insignias of the DC Fire & EMS Department. That could allow someone using it to better blend in with emergency operations.
DC is not alone in its policy of auctioning used fire and police gear. Prince George's County has similar auctions. Spokesman Mark Brady tells 9NEWS NOW the department's leadership has voiced their concerns about the county's procedure for disposing of surplus equipment.
Pete Piringer, a spokesman for Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service, says there are limitations on what gear his department auctions. Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department spokesman Dan Schmidt says the county does not make used firefighting gear available to the public. Both Schmidt and Piringer say their departments attempt to donate used gear to fire departments around the world that may need it.
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Republished with permission from WUSA 9