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When is 25% preparedness acceptable?


 ...apparently, nearly ten-years into the "post 9/11 era"

"I would say Tampa is probably about 25 percent ready for a terrorist event. That's based on the training I've done throughout the State of Florida for the last five years. I think that there needs to be more funding and more education,”
                                                   Eric Dotten, Emergency Med. Learning & Resource Center Read more on this story from ABC

The above quote and the basis for this post comes from a story found over at ABC Action News. Please see the video below.

9/11/10 commentary
It caught me off guard. I expected to read about how the EMS providers were polishing their skills for dealing with a high profile event; an event that represented a high hazard, an event that held potential for an terrorist intentional attack with chemical or biologic weapons.

In my ignorance, I expected Florida to be a highly prepared state. Hurricanes, tropical storms, high heat, large special needs populations, big cities...Florida seemed to be a state that has prepared and practiced. Some of the best emergency management conferences I've been at have been hosted and presented by Florida. A state with solid Domestic Preparedness.

I seem to be wrong.

Tampa is Florida's third largest city with a population of 335,709 and Florida is the fourth largest state in the U.S. I think the Buccaneers still pay football there. But despite the size of the state and city, Tampa seems to be only 25% ready for a terrorist event. This after ten-years in the "post 9/11 era".

I've held the opinion that the current Homeland Security approach to preparedness is a failed model. If accurate, does Mr. Dottens quote reflect that failing? I've also held that we should not be (specifically) training for terrorism...we must integrate readiness for intentional events into an overall domestic preparedness program.

What, then should we expect...after all we're ten-years into the "post 9/11 era". Read my opinion from 9/11/2010. As one reader wrote in saying "25% is better than nothing".

And that may be the theme as we get ready to embrace 9/11/2011.

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