(Research) 9/11 Draft Reports Say City Rescuers Lacked Coordination
Article in the New York Times about the fact that city rescuers lacked coordination.
The three main emergency agencies that went to the World Trade Center - the Fire Department, the New York Police Department, and the Port Authority Police Department - did not coordinate their responses and frequently did not or could not share valuable information.(...) For example, the staff cited a message from a city police helicopter that the north tower was "glowing" and about to fall that was not heard by firefighters.(...)The Fire Department lost track of units and was unable to communicate with them, according to officials who have been briefed on the contents.(...) The report discusses the lack of reliable communication between firefighters and fire commanders that morning. A fire chief ordered a member of the building staff - not a member of the Fire Department - to operate a key piece of radio equipment, a device known as a repeater that boosts radio signals inside a building. After some tests, the fire chiefs believed the repeater was broken and stopped using it, forcing them to rely on the strength of their hand-held radios to stay in touch with firefighters upstairs. The report suggests that the repeater may actually have been working, though the significance of that finding is unclear.(...) Fire chiefs have maintained that the critical communication gap that day was the failure of any police chiefs to go to the fire command post as required under the city's emergency protocol. Without contact with a police commander, the fire chiefs have told the commission, they lacked critical observations made by police helicopters about deteriorating building conditions. The lack of communication was not absolute, according to the draft, which cites accounts from members of police units who said they checked in with fire personnel as they entered the buildings.
This is not meant to baddly criticize those people but it could be a starting point for a reflection about how is it possible to improve coordination among firefighters.