Letter Re: The Lack of Police and Fire Training

Hugh,

This comment is in regards to the Letter: The Lack of Police and Fire Training or Preparation for the Aftermath of an EMP.

I have had the pleasure of working for one of the Northeast’s largest cities in their Emergency Management Department, and I am currently the Director for a County EMA in the Midwest. I agree with your comments that the risk is not high on the list that we prepare for, but we do have conversations regarding this quite a bit. Part of the problem is that the run of the mill police officer or fire fighter does not think along these lines, so we have taken the opportunity to educate them whenever possible as to what an EMP would do to our infrastructure and our ability to respond.

The simple truth is that you typically have a very small group of first responders (police, fire, EMS, and EMA) trying to keep some semblance of control over a much larger population. If we lose the ability to communicate through an EMP we will not be effective at supporting the general population’s needs, and chaos will be the end result.

Now that we have a general awareness, we are starting to put injects into our exercises that would simulate a loss of power to the grid (and communications) so we can think through and react to that scenario. This includes including our local ARES group (Ham radio), as they would be our last best hope of maintaining any semblance of communications and control if we were to lose these robust radio networks. – S.G.

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