Urges First Responders Not to Leave for
Hurricane-Affected States Unless Formally Requested
Trenton, NJ - Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent
of New Jersey State Police and Director of the State Office
of Emergency Management, today urged New Jersey first responders
and other personnel not to depart for the states hit by Hurricane
Katrina unless those personnel are officially mobilized by
the State of New Jersey.
"New Jersey's thousands of first responders and rescue personnel
are extremely dedicated, and we know many are eager to rush
down to the Gulf Coast to help those communities recover,"
"We commend them for their willingness to help. But unless
and until they are officially requested through the Emergency
Management Assistance Compact and mobilized by the New Jersey
Office of Emergency Management, those personnel should remain
where they are."
The states affected by Katrina so far have not requested
help from New Jersey, though the State Office of Emergency
Management has identified personnel and rescue equipment that
could leave for the Gulf states with two hours notification.
If those states do request New Jersey's help via the Emergency
Management Assistance Compact, the Office of Emergency Management
will send those responders over in a uniformed and coordinated
Fuentes pointed out that massive rescue efforts such as those
now underway in the Gulf states can be harmed, rather than
helped, when rescue workers try to help out without coordinating
with the agencies in charge.
# # #