As Hurricane Earl heads up the eastern seaboard and an enormous propane fire raged in nearby Delaware County this afternoon I had a lot to think about. First off the hurricane. It’s kind of rare that hurricanes get this far north. But you can NEVER take one of these storms for granted. Katrina taught everyone that lesson. It only takes a last-minute change of course to turn a nothing storm into a killer. A storm of this size and strength is especially difficult for us because it consumes our resources rapidly. When they hit the winds do most of the damage. Calls start pouring in about downed wires, trees falling and accidents of every possible sort. Companies play catchup all day long. That doesn’t even take into account any fires of significance. With hurricanes come real, serious issues.
The other story today was an enormous explosion and fire in Delaware County, just over Philly’s southern border. It was a chemical fire with many large tanks of propane involved, some in the thousands of gallons range. The potential for even further explosions and disaster loomed all day as firefighters from the county and our own Hazardous Materials Unit responded to the scene. Late word is the fire is out and the situation is under control. Lucky for them though as tomorrow one of our Foam Units is scheduled to be BROWNED OUT. What if…
A day like today points out clearly the dangers of cutting emergency services. When Hurricane Katrina hit, the democrats even to this day, accuse President Bush of all manner of negligence because of the less than stellar performance of FEMA. The reality is much different but nonetheless the case was made loud and clear: people were dying because of poor response and planning from government officials. It was unprecedented that Americans should suffer such fate on American soil. Disasters only happen to people in other countries like Haiti, or Pakistan, or Chile. Not people of the 9th Ward. Right? Wrong!
Yet now these same democrats are waging an undeclared war on America’s first responders and law enforcement across the country. It seems the same people who viciously criticised President Bush are now selling out our collective public safety by slashing emergency service budgets beyond what is rationale. Am I missing something here?