The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and their aftermath haunt so many people, but lessons from the attacks made us more ready for emergencies right here in Southern Arizona.
In the shock and confusion right after the attacks police, firefighters and other emergency responders had trouble talking to each other. Their radios used different frequencies.
After 9/11 agencies across the country built new systems designed to share critical information and foster quick cooperation across department boundaries.
In an emergency, Pima County's emergency operations center is designed to pull emergency workers together for efficient, face to face co-operation to solve a wide range of problems.
Matt McGlone of Pima County Emergency Management says, “It would have a lot of the agencies that you're familiar with police and fire and other ones, you might not be so familiar with health department, some of our federal partners, federal agencies that you might not think would be involved in an emergency like that, but you want to bring in all the players that you possibly can together."
9/11 led to innovative ideas on how to manage emergencies. Commanders used to fighting wildfires managed a lot of the 9-11 response because fighting huge wildfires made them experts in organizing thousands of people and all their equipment.
Now there's a real emphasis to make each new emergency a learning experience so we're better prepared for the next crisis that hits---and "we" means civilians need to prepare too.
Matt McGlone says, “I think the biggest thing since 9-11, when you talk about preparedness for an individual is making sure that you have what you need for your family on hand. Medication, special dietary needs, stuff that that's going to get you where you need to be for at least 72 hours, safely and healthy as much as possible."
And if you're prepared that helps responders care for people in more serious trouble.