Only six of the 75 cities rated have received a top rating in the scorecard to be released today by the Department. Communication capabilities were the focus of the ratings.
Devlin Barrett, Associated Press Writer, wrote:
Washington — On Sept. 11, 2001, New York fire battalion chief Dennis Devlin issued an urgent plea: His men were in “a state of confusion” and needed more working radios immediately. Yet, more than five years since Devlin and 342 other members of the city’s fire department perished at the World Trade Center, the government says only six U.S. cities have fully answered the late fire chief’s call by adopting advanced emergency communications systems.
New York is not one of the six, according to the scorecard by the Homeland Security Department that was to be released Wednesday.
A draft portion of the report obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press gives the best ratings to the Washington, D.C., area; San Diego; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Columbus, Ohio; Sioux Falls, S.D.; and Laramie County, Wyo.
The lowest scores go to Chicago; Cleveland; Baton Rouge, La.; Mandan, N.D.; and American Samoa. The report includes large and small cities and their suburbs, along with U.S. territories.
In an overview, the report says all 75 areas surveyed have policies in place for helping their emergency workers communicate. But it also finds that “formalized governance (leadership and planning) across regions has lagged.”
Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke would not comment on the report, saying only that in releasing it Wednesday, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff will “talk about nationwide assessments for interoperable communications.”
Read the rest of the article here and download full DHS report… http://wid.ap.org