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Public Information Release | Remembering 9/11 - What Fire Departments learnt?

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Aug 29, 2014


PRESS RELEASE - Remembering 9/11 - What Fire Departments learnt?
This year has been the 19th anniversary of the World Trade Center Terrorist Attack, which occurred on the 11th of September, 2001 at Manhattan Island, New York. That Tuesday Morning has struck the U.S and the whole world, with 2977 killed in this terrifying attack, including civilians, firefighters, and police officers.

With a wide wound opened in every agency that day, the firefighters of New York had suffered a significant hit. Though the situation was highly unpredictable, with many unknown factors and in many cases, the lack of proper experience for such high-scale operation, such highly unusual cases are “great” opportunities to learn from the mistakes, and see them fixed into the department’s policies, training, and so on.
Though the Red County Fire Department was not directly involved in the 9/11 attacks, we can also learn those lessons.

With more than half the fleet of the FDNY deployed to the scene, around 200 units, with hundreds of firefighters, the management of this scale is unprecedented, and marks the major point in where the FDNY had suffered the worst in this terrible incident.

  1. Dispatch Stress - The Dispatching Services of any Fire Department is one of the core management components in any department. With many firefighters wanting to take part in the relief and rescue efforts in WTC, the dispatch services received many requests from all firehouses in New York, including some units self-dispatching.
  2. Keeping Records - With the time of the incident taking place during shift changes, and later with a city-wide request from the Fire Chief of FDNY to all off-duty Firefighters to respond, a large force of unmarked firefighters have arrived to the scene, causing disarray in all related to managing the force available at the officer’s disposal.
  3. Mutual Aid - Mutual Aid between departments is nothing new, but also nothing too frequent, and usually takes place during large wildfires nowadays, where the front of the line is clearer, and usually less condensed. Two large Fire Departments have responded to the mutual aid requests of the Fire Chief of FDNY, arriving at the scene. The FDNY was not prepared with modern & proper protocols for mutual aid, and thus, those departments arrived without the FDNY knowing what kind of equipment they have, and which of their trained units respond. Hence, it took some time before those units could’ve been used effectively on the field.

It is also very important to understand that New York is a wide jurisdiction, and the FDNY had to keep citywide coverage,
as no fire is too little, and as we know, it can get out of control very easily.

We honor the unwavering bravery of our fellow firefighters and all other emergency workers, which served in this incident. Those allowed the ones they rescued to live and indirectly allowed departments from around the world to learn from the mistakes, hence helping with the efforts of many to save lives, around the clock.

In memory of those, the Red County Fire Department and the San Andreas State Police held a memorial service last Friday.

This article is based on the FDNY Official Executive Summary from the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks.
We hope you have a great & safe week.

Written by:
Henry Goodman
Director of Public Information & Outreach

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