The Phoenix Fire Department's Urban Search and Rescue team HAS BEEN SUSPENDED by a federal agency because it brought armed police officers for protection on hurricane relief missions.
Let me give you a little extra information: Mayor Phil Gordon was just on the radio stating that the Search & Rescue team has been suspended INDEFINITELY over this b*#lsh*t!
The Federal Emergency Management Agency's conduct code prohibits urban search-and-rescue teams from having guns.Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon called the reaction from FEMA "stunning, unbelievable, bewildering and outrageous."
Phoenix's team included four police officers who were deputized as U.S. marshals when they participated in relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.
The team was credited with plucking more than 400 Katrina survivors from rooftops and freeway overpasses in flooded sections of New Orleans.
Phoenix officials are threatening to refuse deployments in the future or possibly pull out of the federal agency altogether unless the rules are changed to allow teams to bring their own security, even if that means police with guns.
Phoenix police were added to the team about a year ago, and officials say they are essential to protecting firefighters and FEMA's $1.4 million worth of equipment.
According to the mayor, FEMA officials advised the team to bring U.S. marshals along on the initial trip.
After Hurricane Katrina struck, firefighters faced deployment to areas plagued by looting and lawlessness. Twice, Phoenix's team was confronted by law enforcement officers who refused to let them pass through their communities and told them to "get out or get shot," Gordon said.
Officials told the Phoenix team on Sept. 26 that their help was no longer needed after members of the group were seen embarking on a helicopter flight with a loaded shotgun while helping with the aftermath of Rita.
So, what are these guys supposed to do? Paint a target on their backs?
We all heard about the shooting that was done at rescue helicopters...the shooting at rescuers...so if we give up our time and leave our families to go assist with the rescue effort, we are supposed to go unprotected??
The rescuers didn't have arms...they took U.S. Marshals with them for protection!
This is OUTRAGEOUS!