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DHS paranoia may endanger First Responders

Discussion in 'Firefighter/EMS Talk' started by aspartz, Mar 6, 2005.

  1. aspartz


    Oct 19, 2000
    Sandstone, MN 55072
    I just read this in the local paper. It amazes me that the feds would even consider keeping the FD/PD/EMS in the dark and in danger because of a paranoid over-reaction to 9-11

    Rail placards at center of dispute between safety and security

  2. Slinger646

    Slinger646 King of Sling

    Sep 5, 2004
    In the Mountains of VA
    there is always the manifest which is kept in the locomotive or in the cab of a semi, if that isnt there and i cant make out whats inside, i'm waiting for the glow-worms

  3. TerraMedicX


    Sep 26, 2004
    Boulder, CO
    True....but getting close enough to get the manifest breaks my number one rule about HAZMAT, the wonderful "Rule of Thumb!"

  4. obxprnstar

    obxprnstar Goth Lover

    Jan 8, 2003
    Zombie Patrol
    Ditto that for me. Plus if they do trains, who is to say that truck will not be shortly afterwards.
  5. Coming from DHS, it doesn't surprise me. IMHO, it's a bad idea.

    Hell, DHS did a fine job of throwing away millions of dollars to small town departments to buy equipment for responding to terrorist incidents, when those departments don't have the manpower or training to respond to that type of incident.
  6. Tvov


    Sep 30, 2000
    I have to agree with you on this. Guys in my department are working on, and have been, getting some of that money for HazMat gear way beyond basic equipment. This is silly considering the basically zero odds we would ever need it, and that our SOPs for anything beyond a minor HazMat is to back off, secure the area, and wait for the boys from the state.

    Most of these guys have the attitude of- "It's not 'our' money!" (yes it is, ever heard of taxes??), and "If we don't get it and spend it, someone else will!" (that doesn't make it right).

    I am really beginning to sound like an "evil old timer" in my department.
  7. Tvov


    Sep 30, 2000
    Anyway, are terrorists really going to read the placards anyway??
  8. aspartz


    Oct 19, 2000
    Sandstone, MN 55072
    The terrorist are more likely to have a copy of the manifests. The odds of them needing the placards to select a target is about zero.

    InRE DHS grant money -- When I took my HazMAt ops class, it was funded by DHS, so it was supposed to be targeted to bio-terrorism rather than a random accident. Exactly what are the odds of the former out here in the boonies?

  9. Rob72


    Jan 25, 2005
    OKC, OK
    To my mind, removing the placards would assist any "Terr-ass" action. Transport of hazmat is largely common sense/public domain, you're only hiding info from the people that need it. Removing the placards increases the liklihood of getting first responders in closer to a good secondary explosive, which in turn will occupy more resources recovering/evacuating the FR's.

    Think it through: set off a "good'un" that will call out half a dozen engines, PD's East/West/North/South whatever side patrol units, and three or so medic units. Either with shooters, or an equally impressive secondary IED, get a significant portion of the responders, then go for one (or a couple) of the good high-visibility, soft-targets, like a school, ball stadium, etc.. No big challenge for 12 informed, dedicated individuals.....:soap:
  10. DaleGribble

    DaleGribble Sandwich!

    Mar 20, 2003
    Land of the toothless!
    I used to feel the same but now I have to disagree.

    Remember the HAZMAT incident in Graniteville SC where nine people died and over 200 were hospitalized? Well I was working that night and I was there due to a mutual aid agreement. When our small EMS agency got a huge portable decon shelter last year I thought it was a big waste, not anymore. I recently got my tyvex suit and all the goodies (after the incident). When I signed up for the suit I thought it to was a waste, now I'm glad I have it!

    Just because an agency might be small and in a low threat area does not mean they are immune.

  11. I'm not saying everyplace is immune to an attack, just that the money is not being spent wisely or going to locations where the threat is greater like those places that have been/or have planned to be attacked.

    Say a small agency gets money from DHS to purchases HAZMAT equipment for domestic preparedness that their normal budget would not allow them to have and they spend over thirty thousand dollars on the stuff. What happens when the shelf life expires on some of the supplies? If they barley get by on their normal budget, who is going to replace the equipment or pay for the special initial/continuing training for CBRN or other terrorist related incidents?

    If some places in small town America can barley muster enough people to respond to fire and/or EMS calls during the daytime, how are they going to handle a terrorist incident? Since the federal government is not going to give this money to the greater risk areas, then MHO is that since Congress had to treat this as pork and get their states and districts a cut of the money, then each states should be required to set up special response task forces to respond within their states in order to get cash.