RealNews

Cities absorb lessons of simulated nightmare

The 600 firefighters who played themselves in a terrorism drill here Thursday learned a lot about gridlock. As they raced to respond to the mock collapse of a four-story building and the simulated release of a toxic substance from a chemical plant, they were kept in their trucks for about 20 minutes while officials from other agencies determined whether it was safe for them to enter the hazardous zone. ”We’re experiencing some procedural gridlock,” said Jay Reardon, chief of the Northbrook, Ill., Fire Department. But Reardon said he was encouraged to learn that firefighters would be kept from rushing into unknown dangers. ”There are benefits in waiting and not being so aggressive,” he said. That was one of the many lessons officials said they learned from the extensive drills staged this week here and in Seattle to improve the nation’s ability to respond to simultaneous terrorist attacks. Full Story

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