New Reports Show U.S. Must Make First Responder Funding a Priority
D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following
statement today in response to two new studies indicating that first
responders have not received adequate assistance from the Bush Administration.
A study by The Rand Corporation for the Centers for Disease Control
revealed widespread confusion among first responders about proper
reaction to terrorist attacks, especially if they involved chemical,
biological or nuclear weapons. The study states, "Such uncertainty
frustrates efforts to design a protection program and acquire the
necessary technology." Another study by the National Association
of School Resource Officers found that 90 percent of school security
officials believe that schools are a "soft target" for
terrorists and that 76 percent believe that schools are not prepared
to protect our children.
"New studies from the Centers for Disease Control and the National
Association of School Resource Officers reaffirmed that our nation
is not prepared to respond adequately to a new attack. For months,
Democrats have called for the Bush Administration and the Republicans
in Congress to increase assistance to first responders in order
to limit the harm another terrorist attack would cause.
of the men and women on the frontlines of the war on terrorism have
not been made a high enough priority, despite what we learned nearly
two years ago. The Bush Administration and Republicans in Congress
have simply not done enough to meet our broad homeland security
needs, whether it is funding our first responders; protecting our
children while at school; securing our ports, borders, and air transportation
system; or raising our level of preparedness.
expand, significantly and quickly, our efforts to support our police
officers, firefighters, public school safety officers, and other
emergency response workers. They are on the frontlines, and we must
provide them with the resources and tools they need to protect our
nation against terrorist attacks. Otherwise, our families and communities
will remain at tremendous risk."