Thursday, July 14, 2005

Homeland Security

"The First Responder Community and Consequence Management

In recent years, many have called for allocating $10 billion to $20 billion in additional annual resources to the first responder community—police, fire, and rescue units--to provide them equipment and training to help mitigate the damage caused by any successful terrorist attack.
These include protective gear against weapons of mass destruction, large-scale specializedtraining, more teams to handle possible building collapse, and radio systems that are interoperable between different types of responders within a given jurisdiction.3 Such ideas go too far. For example, it is not necessary to equip all three million first responders in the United States with state of the art chemical protective gear or interoperable communications systems. Equipping specialized teams within each major jurisdiction with such capabilities, and creating several mobile communications headquarters with interoperable technology, are less expensive and more quickly doable propositions.4 It is not necessary that every fireman’s radio can talk to every police officer’s radio; a certain number of mobile interoperable communications vans that can be quickly deployed to a problem site are a more
cost-effective solution. They can allow quick coordination and cross-communication through the squad or team leaders of each type of organization (that would have been enough to save many firefighters on September 11, 2001 in New York). A large city could purchase several dozen, at $1 million each, for a reasonable cost of several tens of millions of dollars....."

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