Archive for the ‘FEMA’ Category

*****UPDATE 8/28/08***** We learned late last night that Greg Quibell, star of SAVE THE BRAVE lost his heroic battle. Please see our post “First Responder Greg Quibell Dies of 9/11 Illness”.

RESPONDERS DOCUMENTARY SHOWS AFFECTS OF 9/11 SEVEN YEARS LATER


“SAVE THE BRAVE” TELLS STORY OF DIGNITY, COURAGE, SUFFERING


SON SALUTES SICK DAD WITH GRAND SLAM TO WIN BALLGAME

August 4, 2008, New York City- The Fealgood Foundation is producing SAVE THE BRAVE a documentary made and produced by 911 responders to inform the nation of the intense suffering 911 responders and their families are experiencing. The single focus of the documentary is passage of the 911 Health & Compensation Bill named for James Zadroga, the police officer who perished as the result of his illness contracted from service at Ground Zero. Hundreds of 911 Responders have died of illness contracted from Ground Zero.

John Feal, founder of the Fealgood Foundation comments, “If all of America understood what the men and women who rushed to save lives and retrieve remains for grieving family members are going through on a daily basis they would be shocked. As New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler says in SAVE THE BRAVE, “it’s a moral outrage”.

The Fealgood Foundation is reaching out to Americans urging them to see that the 911 Health & Compensation Bill is passed in Congress so that Responders have access to much needed medical care, medicines and disability compensation to allow their families to thrive.

The Fealgood Foundation assigned the production of SAVE THE BRAVE to another 911 Responder, Reverend Bill Minson. Minson served as a Red Cross and Salvation Army chaplain, he has continued to provide spiritual care through his TUDAY Ministries, his all voluntary service began  Sept. 13, 2001. Rev. Minson also narrates the documentary with noted artist and videographer Robert Agriopoulos directing.

John Feal continues, “With Responders across the country suffering we don’t want one to be without support. We’re praying that Jim Ritchie, John McNamara, Greg Quibell and Charlie Giles, the subjects of our documentary, will all be with us when our documentary debuts later this month. Please let me share a touching email with you from Greg Quibell’s family yesterday as he fights for his life at North Shore University hospital”.

“Today Theresa’s son Nick came up to the plate with 3 men on base in his little league game. With that his coach approached him and said Nick a hit brings home 2 runs, they were trailing by 1. Nick replied to the coach in front of everyone in the stands to hear, hey coach how about one hit brings home 4 runs. The coach laughed and then Nick said, ‘this one is for my dad in the hospital’. Well Nick hit a grand slam over the 220 ft. fence and cleared it by 30 feet. Everyone who heard him say that and then do it started to cry. Nick then went to the hospital and brought Greg the home run ball. You just cant make that up, and if it doesn’t make you cry or feel the love and pain this family is going through, then your not human. Theresa thank you for this story and for a good cry”, concludes 911 Responder, John Feal.

SAVE THE BRAVE http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=franniebird&p=r

For additional information please contact Anne Marie Baumen at the Fealgood Foundation

###

Anne Marie Baumen

516.551.0986 / 631.724.3320

www.fealgoodfoundation.org

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We have been vocal about our dislike for the current Administration – but, folks, the corruption runs thick and deep. Is this a case of “trickle down” – or are the leaders that we choose a reflection of a bigger issue? This story is from CNN.

BILOXI, Mississippi (CNN) — Prisons in Mississippi got coffee makers, pillowcases and dinnerware — all intended for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The state’s Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks took more coffee makers, cleaning supplies and other items.

Plastic containers ended up with the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration.

Colleges, volunteer fire departments and other agencies received even more.

But the Mississippi hurricane victims who originally were intended to receive the supplies got nothing, a CNN investigation has found. 

“It’s scary to know that there are supplies that they are harboring and people [are] in need right now as we speak today,” said Sharon Hanshaw, director of Coastal Women for Change, a nonprofit group helping storm victims.

Last month, CNN revealed that the Federal Emergency Management Agency had stored $85 million worth of household items in warehouses for two years. Instead of giving the supplies to victims of the 2005 hurricane, FEMA declared them surplus and gave them all away to federal agencies and 16 states in February.

The state of Louisiana — the most hard-hit by the storm — had not asked for any of the supplies, prompting outrage in the community after the original CNN report.

CNN’s investigation showed that Mississippi was one of the 16 states that took the FEMA supplies, but it did not distribute them to Katrina victims.

Jim Marler, director of Mississippi’s surplus agency, failed to return repeated phone calls over several months to explain what happened.

Agency spokeswoman Kym Wiggins said, “There may be a need, but we were not notified that there was a great need for this particular property.”

That doesn’t sit well with most aid groups in Mississippi. “You would have to be living under a rock not to know there is still a need,” said Cass Woods, the project coordinator of Coastal Women for Change.

Wiggins said that nonprofit organizations must meet federal guidelines and register with the state and that no such groups helping the needy or homeless were registered with Mississippi’s surplus agency.

“There is no specific designation outside of a disaster period that says we have to have sustained properties going to the disaster area,” Wiggins said.

CNN interviewed the leaders of eight nonprofits helping Katrina victims at a Biloxi, Mississippi, church used as a staging area for community groups. All said they had no idea these items were available, and most had no idea the surplus agency existed.

“We work so hard to help people in our community when the government is holding back stuff that we can use to give people,” said Glenda Perryman, director of United Hearts Community Action Agency.

Roberta Avila, director of the Mississippi Coast Interfaith Disaster Task Force, said, “It’s needed even more now than right after the storm.”

Records show Mississippi’s surplus agency received household supplies, including dinnerware sets, towels, shirts, pants, shoes and cleaning items.

Those are the kind of household items that Howard and Gloria Griffith said they could have used since the storm and still need. The Griffiths said they spent every penny to rebuild their home. But they can’t afford to finish it, so they’re still living in a FEMA trailer on their property in Biloxi with their teenage son.

“I’ve never seen none of it,” said Gloria Griffith after CNN showed her photos of some of the supplies that FEMA had kept in storage.

FEMA said it was costing more than $1 million a year to store the supplies, but officials have not been able to answer why the agency didn’t get the supplies to Katrina victims. Both FEMA and the General Services Administration said the items originally were purchased or donated for victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

In the wake of the CNN investigation, a FEMA official said the agency was launching an internal probe into the storage of the household supplies.

Bill Stallworth, executive director of the Hope Coordination Center in Biloxi that helps rehouse Katrina victims, said he’s astounded that the supplies were given away.

Stallworth and other community leaders said if they had known the FEMA items were available, they would have begged for them.

“And when I hear people stand up and just beat their chest and say we’ve got everything under control, that’s when I just want to slap them upside the head and say, ‘Get a grip, get a life,’ ” said Stallworth, who is also a Biloxi city councilman.

“Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.” – John Lennon, before his murder by Mark David Chapman.

Please take the time to watch these videos – it’s what’s necessary for all of this to change.

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From USAToday:

Original posting at 11:56 a.m. ET: Those weren’t reporters questioning the deputy chief of FEMA earlier this week, they were federal employees playing the role of journalists during a televised briefing on the wildfires in southern California.

An agency spokesman tells The Washington Post that they didn’t have time to wait for real reporters to come to their office near the U.S. Capitol. “We had been getting mobbed with phone calls from reporters, and this was thrown together at the last minute,”  Mike Widomski, FEMA’s deputy director of public affairs, tells the paper.

So, instead of waiting for outsiders to come to their offices, the P.R. people just turned on the cameras and tossed softballs to their boss. That may be why Vice Adm. Harvey Johnson found it so easy to answer the questions, according to the Post. (A philosophical question: If the press doesn’t come to your press conference did you really hold a press conference?)

Here’s a sampling of the questions:

QUESTION: Sir, there are a number of reports that people weren’t heeding evacuation orders and that was hindering emergency responders. Can you speak a little to that, please?

QUESTION: Can you address a little bit what it means to have the president issue an emergency declaration, as opposed to a major disaster declaration? What does that (inaudible) for FEMA?

QUESTION: Sir, we understand the secretary and the administrator of FEMA are on their way out there. What is their objective? And is there anyone else traveling with them?

STAFF: Last question.

QUESTION: What lessons learned from Katrina have been applied?

Update at 3:01 p.m. ET: FEMA just issued an apology. “FEMA’s goal is to get information out as soon as possible, and in trying to do so we made an error in judgment,” the agency says in a statement attributed to Johnson. “Our intent was to provide useful information and be responsive to the many questions we have received. We are reviewing our press procedures and will make the changes necessary to ensure that all of our communications are straight forward and transparent.”

USA TODAY’s Mimi Hall reports that officials at the Homeland Security Department aren’t happy about FEMA’s follies. “This is inexcusable to the secretary,” spokeswoman Laura Keehner says.

She describes the incident as a lapse in judgment, but says “stunts such as this will not be tolerated” and notes that “the senior leadership of the department is taking this very seriously.”

“This is offensive, inexcusable,” she says.