FEMA Suspends Rescue Team over Guns


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Thin Black Line
October 6, 2005, 01:43 AM
FEMA Suspends Phoenix Rescuers Over Arms

Oct 04 11:20 PM US/Eastern

PHOENIX


The Phoenix Fire Department's Urban Search and Rescue team has been suspended by a federal agency because it brought armed police officers for protection on hurricane relief missions.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's conduct code prohibits urban search-and-rescue teams from having guns.

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon called the reaction from FEMA "stunning, unbelievable, bewildering and outrageous."

Phoenix's team included four police officers who were deputized as U.S. marshals when they participated in relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.

The team was credited with plucking more than 400 Katrina survivors from rooftops and freeway overpasses in flooded sections of New Orleans.

Phoenix officials are threatening to refuse deployments in the future or possibly pull out of the federal agency altogether unless the rules are changed to allow teams to bring their own security, even if that means police with guns.

Phoenix police were added to the team about a year ago, and officials say they are essential to protecting firefighters and FEMA's $1.4 million worth of equipment.

Assistant Phoenix Fire Chief Bob Khan said his department also is questioning the federal agency's ability to manage working conditions, security and communications.

"We have an obligation to provide the safest environment as we can," Khan said.

U.S. Marshal David Gonzales said he was dismayed by the suspension because the setup with the police officers seemed ideal.

"We think this was a model," he said. "We think all rescue teams should have armed escorts wherever they go, and we think this is something they should adopt nationwide."

FEMA relies on 28 elite teams like the Phoenix group to perform specialized rescue operations immediately after terrorist attacks and natural disasters.

According to the mayor, FEMA officials advised the team to bring U.S. marshals along on the initial trip.

After Hurricane Katrina struck, firefighters faced deployment to areas plagued by looting and lawlessness. Twice, Phoenix's team was confronted by law enforcement officers who refused to let them pass through their communities and told them to "get out or get shot," Gordon said.

Officials told the Phoenix team on Sept. 26 that their help was no longer needed after members of the group were seen embarking on a helicopter flight with a loaded shotgun while helping with the aftermath of Rita.

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Sheldon
October 6, 2005, 01:53 AM
That is such a totally unrealistic view especially since they saw how rescuers were being fired upon in New Orleans. To go into a situation like that unarmed is just plain foolish.

motoman
October 6, 2005, 02:35 AM
What ever happened to people being grateful? Does FEMA really expect these people to die trying to help hurricane victims? :mad:

yorec
October 6, 2005, 06:13 AM
Bueracracy meets real life... No suprise to me. :rolleyes:

Nematocyst
October 6, 2005, 07:32 AM
FEMA has no clothes. :scrutiny:

Brian Dale
October 6, 2005, 07:43 AM
Well done, Phoenix S&R team, and three cheers for Mayor Gordon.

You can't give other people common sense; all you can do is to demonstrate your own.

NavajoNPaleFace
October 6, 2005, 08:38 AM
FEMA has cut their throats in ever hoping to get Arizona search and rescue help in the future.

OH25shooter
October 6, 2005, 08:45 AM
Only in America. This country just keeps screwing over fellow Americans time after time. Upset, but not surprised. Sad. :confused:

Hawkmoon
October 6, 2005, 09:07 AM
This is actually old news, and the follow-up I saw yesterday suggests that Phoenix is indeed considering withdrawing its team from the program. They decided to add four armed police officers to the team almost a year ago, not just in response to Katrina and New Orleans.

FEMA is run by bureaucrats, whose only forays into the disaster zones are for photo ops. Why would anyone expect common sense from them?

Missashot
October 6, 2005, 09:35 AM
There is no way that I would have went there unarmed! :what:
I try to not judge things that I don't know much about, but I think that FEMA is a real waste of tax money! :fire:

AirForceShooter
October 6, 2005, 09:56 AM
Does FEMA have a clue???
This is getting scary

AFS

armoredman
October 6, 2005, 10:21 AM
In the event of a national emergency, the clueless clowns are in charge of the country. That's scary.

A. Patriot
October 6, 2005, 10:26 AM
It's funny. During the Clinton administration, the conspiracy people were saying that FEMA was going to take over the government and set up detention camps for all of us gun totin' patriot types.

FEMA has shown itself to be so incompetent and corrupt, I don't think it could sucessfully take over a Cub Scout troop.

Omni04
October 6, 2005, 10:28 AM
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=159340

FWIW there is another thread going around about this. Not sure which was first and they are about equal size :)

gezzer
October 6, 2005, 10:08 PM
FEMA has shown itself to be so incompetent and corrupt, I don't think it could sucessfully take over a Cub Scout troop.

That's because the Cub Scouts have adult leadership.

MountainPeak
October 6, 2005, 10:39 PM
I have first hand knowledge of how FEMA operates. I worked with them in 1991, and again in 2000. You want to waste resources FAST? FEMA to the rescue should be your battle cry.

Gifted
October 9, 2005, 08:55 PM
I'm thinking that it makes sense for them to be part of Homeland Security :barf: and have their funding taken away. They're so incompetent that they might as well have someone else waste the money.

fastbolt
October 10, 2005, 12:14 AM
FEMA relies on 28 elite teams like the Phoenix group to perform specialized rescue operations immediately after terrorist attacks and natural disasters.

Maybe, just maybe, if the other 27 "elite teams" adopted a similar 'model', a different perspective would be forthcoming ... albeit unwillingly, perhaps ...

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