Why are we waiting until it is safe?

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 30, 2005

To the editor,

It didn’t happen during the terrorist attack on the World Trade

Center.

Extremely brave firemen and brave police officers didn’t wait until it was safe to save the occupants of the World

Trade Center.

Hundreds of emergency personnel lost their lives during 911 saving thousands and thousands and thousands of lives.

It was an emergency, they IMMEDIATELY responded.

End of discussion.

Yet, less than three years later during Hurricane Ivan, again during Dennis, and apparently widespread during Katrina, a new and disturbing response has been put in place by government leaders.

Emergency personnel are not responding until the area has been made safe to respond.

Someone from the New Orleans police department was being interviewed on CNN and was asked, “It must be frustrating not being able to respond to 911 calls.”

He said yes it is, especially when people are trapped in their homes, flood waters are rising, they are calling for help, we are unable to respond, and their cell phones eventually run out of battery power.”

Unable to respond?

What does that mean?

Unable to respond?

Selma is blessed with brave firemen, policeman, deputies, and state troopers.

I hope and pray that if someone in our community is trapped in their attic during rising flood waters, they aren’t told, “I’m sorry, it will not be safe for our emergency personnel to reach you until the water stops rising or the wind stops blowing.”

We can be thankful General Eisenhower didn’t wait until it was safe for U.S. Troops to storm the shores of Normandy or Okinawa.

We can be thankful for all of those brave fireman and policemen on 911 who went up, led dozens of workers down, went back up, led dozens of workers down, went back up, led dozens of workers down, and went back up…..defying death and destruction with every step.

In closing, if Selma/Dallas County emergency personnel don’t already have one, please consider the purchase of one or more Military Humvees HMMWV, (not a Hummer) with a diesel engine.

I would suggest a 12 ton winch and a military snorkel kit to enable travel in 60 inches of water.

If in the future our emergency personnel are prevented from responding until it is safe, there are volunteer workers in this community, who if given the proper equipment, would drive through a tornado, flood, or hurricane to try and save a life.

That’s what emergency personnel do, respond to an emergency during the emergency.

Kincey Green