– Fire Chief John Sinclair, IAFC president and chairman of the board, testified today before a U.S. House of Representatives panel that the president should appoint an experienced fire service leader or emergency manager as FEMA administrator. Further, Sinclair said the fire and emergency service needs FEMA’s help in identifying risks, prioritizing threats and preparing to meet them.
Sinclair testified before the House subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications
of the Homeland Security Committee, chaired by Rep. Dan Donovan (N.Y.). The purpose of the hearing was to provide recommendations to the next FEMA administrator from experts in emergency management.
“Across the nation, local fire and EMS departments respond to a multitude of threats,” testified Sinclair, fire chief, Kittitas Valley (Wash.) Fire and Rescue Department. “As a local fire chief, I must prepare for fires, medical emergencies, earthquakes, wildland fires, landslides, flooding and the potential for a mass-casualty event. With limited budgets, fire and EMS departments must prioritize training, equipment purchases, staffing and exercises to meet these missions.
“The fire and emergency service needs FEMA’s help in identifying risks, prioritizing threats and preparing to meet them. FEMA must work with DHS, the FBI and the intelligence community to get vital threat information to local fire chiefs. This information should be actionable, written with the local fire chief in mind as an audience and unclassified.”
Read Sinclair’s full testimony
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