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Memo from the Department of Homeland Security Concerning First-Responders

September 02, 2005
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Memo from the Department of Homeland Security Concerning First-Responders

Originally posted at www.napo.org

Dear Homeland Security Partner:

This message concerns the number of responses to Hurricane Katrina. We understand the desire for all public safety and first responders to help. However, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) strongly discourages "self-dispatching" of assets, as this practice endangers responders and threatens overall operational control.

In order to ensure a coordinated national response to Hurricane Katrina, DHS is asking that the nation's law enforcement, fire and emergency response communities help us by working through their State Emergency Management Director or state-designated contact for the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). If you wish to help and have not already made such contact, please register your response assets and resources with your state's official interstate mutual aid program.

Through EMAC, a disaster-impacted state can request and receive assistance from other member states quickly and efficiently, resolving issues of liability and reimbursement. This is paramount to ensure that our first responders are insulated from unforeseen accidents, injuries and legal actions.

For more information about EMAC please visit it's website at: www.emacweb.org.

HSOC, State and Local Watch
202.282.9732 or 202.282.8108

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