Helps Finest and Bravest Build on 9/11 Heroism
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
months ago, Police Commissioner Kelly and Fire Commissioner Scoppetta
asked the highly respected consulting firm of McKinsey & Company
to study the responses of the NYPD and FDNY to the September 11th
attack on the World Trade Center. Their goal was to learn from
the experiences of our uniformed services on September 11th and
make certain that we are prepared for possible future terrorist
attacks and other major incidents. The McKinsey report findings
illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of the NYPD and FDNY in
handling large-scale emergencies. The reports also highlight significant
opportunities where these vital agencies can improve their capacity
to respond to potential crisis situations in the future.
In reviewing the NYPD’s response to the attack on the World Trade
Center, the McKinsey report suggested that the Department improve
mobilization procedures and the distribution of equipment to personnel.
In addition, the report stressed that the NYPD should develop
a response blueprint that
clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of key NYPD officials
during large-scale emergencies.
The NYPD has already begun to address many of the issues raised
by the McKinsey report. For example, since January 1st, 2002,
the Police Department has created a counter-terrorism unit, expanded
their intelligence division, revised their command and operational
succession plan, and upgraded equipment for police officers.
After reviewing the FDNY’s performance on 9/11, McKinsey also
identified several areas for potential improvement in that Department’s
emergency response capabilities. McKinsey stated that the FDNY
should create specialized incident teams, institute effective
staging and recall procedures, establish mutual aid agreements
with other agencies, and improve its internal and external operational
capabilities in emergency situations by utilizing its Operations
Center to coordinate incident command and control throughout New
The FDNY has also taken proactive measures independent of the
McKinsey report, such as expanding and reorganizing the Fire Department’s
top uniformed ranks through the appointment of five Staff Chiefs
as Borough Commanders.
Some of the McKinsey report’s recommendations mirror initiatives
launched by the FDNY and NYPD over the last few months to promote
inter-departmental cooperation, communication and coordination.
The FDNY and NYPD have assigned Departmental liaisons for placement
at the agencies’ respective headquarters. They have established
an interagency senior executive coordinating committee to review
and resolve operational issues. They have begun placing FDNY Chiefs
on NYPD helicopters in certain emergency situations.
We are also examining ways in which the NYPD’s radio infrastructure
might enhance the FDNY’s communication system. Interagency competition
may be unavoidable, and even healthy to some extent, but it can
never impair our ability to respond to emergencies. The stakes
are just too high. New Yorkers will never forget the incredible
bravery, professionalism and sacrifice of the FDNY and NYPD on
September 11th. Putting aside any risk to their own safety, they
carried out what the McKinsey report describes as the most successful
urban emergency evacuation in modern history. We owe it to those
we lost and to those left behind to learn from this tragedy and
help the FDNY and NYPD build on their proud
traditions of being the world’s Bravest and Finest.#
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