Saturday, September 10, 2005

FEMA made Katrina rescuers take sensitivity training courses while people died

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) delayed hundreds of firefighters from around the country who responded to the call to help Hurricane Katrina victims.

Buried in an article on the disarray of the rescue and recovery effort, the New York Times reports the reason: FEMA officials required the volunteers to gather in Atlanta and take days of sensitivity training courses on community relations and sexual harassment before allowing them to save people's lives.

FEMA turned back trucks delivering badly-needed water and other emergency supplies, and forced first responders to fill out paperwork and wait their turn before entering the disaster area.

"Folks were held up two, three days while they were working on the paperwork," said an Alabama sheriff.

Other volunteers ignored FEMA and politicians and delivered the supplies anyway, some in convoys traveling from as far away as Michigan.


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