RealNews

Rescuers less likely to rush into danger

When Timothy McVeigh bombed Oklahoma City’s federal building in 1995, Americans saw images of heroic firefighters charging into danger to rescue victims. That valor was repeated on an even more dramatic scale at New York’s World Trade Center in 2001 when 343 firefighters died trying to save lives. America probably won’t ever witness another rescue effort as strikingly fearless. Instead, the next round of domestic terrorism may produce the unsettling sight of rescue teams walking past victims who are screaming for help. ”The rules have changed,” says Jon Hanson, the assistant fire chief for Oklahoma City in 1995. ”It’s unfortunate that a lot of the people on the ground can’t be a priority, but you can’t rush into these things like we did in the past.” The change in strategy for rescue teams was dictated by the collapse of the twin towers on 9/11 — and the possibility that the next attack could come from a bomb that disperses radiological, biological or chemical agents. It could take hours for a team trained to detect such weapons to reach the scene. Identifying the toxic substance could take an additional 30 to 60 minutes — a process essential to protecting rescuers from being contaminated. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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