NY Fire Dept. Regroups After WTC Disasters

New York City’s beleaguered Fire Department is beginning to regroup and take measures to cope with the awful consequences of the World Trade Center disaster, which, in addition to trying to refill its depleted ranks, will include an overall review of its fire fighting and disaster relief procedures to try and prevent the losses of September 11 from ever occurring again.

The NYFD lost 343 people out of 11,400, and the depth of those losses will affect it for many years. According to an article in the New York Times the Department is rethinking its procedures for attacking fires “in light of the expanding risk.” The Times quoted Deputy Commissioner Thomas Fitzpatrick as saying that he hoped there wouldn’t be an overreaction to the events, but that it was necessary to “plan in accordance with what the new society will be.”

The article also quoted Lt. Mark Pinsett, a 20-year veteran, as saying that “from now on there will be totally different procedures. I doubt we will run into a building if we know it is going to go.” Men with 30 years of experience, who didn’t think the WTC would collapse were lost Pinsett indicated.

Such a frightful toll has required the reevaluation the NYFD has undertaken, and will probably mean that a more cautious approach must be implemented where the lives of firefighters are endangered.