The Phoenix Fire Department officially informed the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Thursday that it will continue to include armed police as part of its Urban Search and Rescue team and asked the agency to rethink its no-firearms rule.
The federal agency appears "more than willing to talk about it and look at that as an option," Phoenix Assistant Fire Chief Bob Khan said."
The discussion, at least as we see it, has been heading in a positive direction," Khan said. "Our intent is still to deploy with the U.S. marshals as a security detail. We hope we can come to some kind of agreement on that."
In a letter to FEMA, Phoenix Fire Chief Alan Brunacini wrote that integrating U.S. marshals into Phoenix's team was a "model for future deployments," and Phoenix officials said it should become the national standard."
The integration of U.S. Marshals into the Urban Search and Rescue program for force protection must be addressed quickly," he wrote.
Brunacini also said, "We sincerely believe an integrated force protection program will improve the USAR deployment model."
Let's hope this can be resolved quickly...
Rescuers should NOT have to worry about their backs as they are doing their humanitarian work...
If there is a danger of ANYONE shooting at them...as we saw during the Katrina rescue operation...U.S. armed marshals are the ones that SHOULD be watching the backs of those otherwise occupied with saving the lives of victims...plain..and..simple...