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Edward D. Reuss
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On Saturday, May 10, 2008, an RMP training seminar was conducted at Kingsborough Community College.   The latest techniques for Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)  and other First Aid measures were reviewed with the members.  PO Hani Kutteh, NYPD Emergency Service Truck 8 conducted the Basic Life Support training in CPR and First Aid.

PO Hani Kutteh, Emergency Serice Truck 8 with Ed Reuss, Capt, NYPD (ret)

The seminar was hosted by the NYPD Personnel Bureau.   These exercises are meant not only to train the members, but to practice processing those who respond to Staging Areas in any  possible large scale emergency.   It also enables members of the Personnel Bureau to become famliar faces to those who respond.   These training seminars are also in compliance with standards set forth by the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

 Deputy Inspector Theresa Tobin,  CO Staff Support Services, Personnel Bureau, and Lieutenant Michael Ryan , Coordinator, Retiree Mobilization Plan were on hand at the Training Seminar. This was the 5th training seminar that I have atttended since October 2005.  Since the initial orientation seminar,  the Personnel Bureau has conducted seminars at One Police Plaza to train RMP members in the Incident Command System and to test for certification in the new Citywide Incident Management System (CIMS).  Members received certificates of training in ICS100, ICS200, and IS700 which are required by the Department of Homeland Security .  Members of the RMP had also previously responded to a Mock Drill to test the notification system that has been put into place by the NYPD.  That exercise was conducted at Floyd Bennett Airfield.    The issuance of bar-coded mobilization RMP identity cards has enabled Personnel to quickly enter the identities of responding members into the “check-in” at the Staging Areas.   This is critical during large scale emergencies.   The “Situation Unit” (SITSTAT) and “Resources Unit” (RESTAT) of the Planning Section must have information about availablity of resources in real time. These cards enable the Operations Section Chief to have force available data on hand to make critical decisions at the scene. 

 The role of the Staging Areas for the Operations Section Chief requires that the Chief  implement “Emergency Credentialing/Site Access Control Procedures” .  That means that only properly trained and credentialled personnel will be allowed access to the scene of the emergency.  

The 911 Commission Report was a comprehensive critique of the emergency management of the scene of the attack on the World Trade Center.    The NYPD has implemented management changes that reflect on the recommendations of that Commission.  One of the issues is the need for  a “layered security sytem” to screen out those who have not been properly trained and credentialled to be present within the outer perimeter at the scene of disasters.  Retired members of the NYPD who work in security are well versed in such security needs.  Who can enter an office building without being screened by security personnel?  How much more critical are such screening methods when police and fire lines are established?   Who should be allowed past the entry points? 

As retired cops we all know full well that if and when there is another terrorist attack on NYC, that thousands of retirees will respond to offer their assistance.  During 911, retirees from Florida and other states responded to NYC and assisted in relief efforts.  That was then, and this is now.  We all know how unprepared we were on September 11, 2001.  Anyone who saw the horror of that day remembers the shock of the sight of a gigantic “Pile” that was the former World Trade Center.    We have learned much from that experience.   

During on-going situations that require timely decisions, what Operations Section Chief wants to have the added responsibility of verifying the identifies of retired members of the NYPD who have not recome registered members of the Retiree Mobillzation Plan ?  Who will have the time to process thousands of retired cops who do not have the training and certification required to enter restricted areas inside Outer or Inner Perimeters?  

For these reasons, retirees who know that they will respond in emergencies MUST at least become registered members of the RMP. They should also attend the Orientation Drills where they will be issued the bar-coded identity cards and a few basic articles of equipment.   The reflective vest has “NYPD-RMP” letters, an NYPD baseball cap, flashlight, are a good start for those who respond. At least with the RMP Mobilization identify card, their NYPD Identity Card, and the equipment, they will be able to assist during operations.  The members of the RMP will be working under the NYPD Personnel Bureau in the Logistics Section of the Incident Command System.  Most of the duties of that Section involve the issuance of equipment and supplies to the cops working at the scene.  

We all recall the days when street disorders required us the work 12 on and 12 off.  When they threw out the Chart,  many of us worked more than those hours.  During some disorders, cops would sleep on the pavement.  One of the problems facing the NYPD will be how to supply cops with basic necessities of food and water during extended tours of duty. The safety of those supplies requires many hundreds of cops or retirees who will guard and ensure that the cache of food and water is not tampered with.  Logistics Section personnel have that responsibility.    Terrorists are not beyond attempting to poison the food and water of law enforcement or military personnel.   Just such an attempt was made at the police academy in Baghbad.

Another issue is the possible injury to many members of the NYPD.    CIMS procedures require that a “Medical Unit” be established in the Logistics Section also.   The medical aid of injured cops requires a working knowledge of Triage and basic life support (BLS) techniques such as CPR and First Aid.  RMP members could be used  to safeguard and assist in the Triage, treatment, and transport of injured cops.  It is not a far-fetched idea to imagine terrorists attempting to harm injured personnel.   The presence of many armed and trained retired cops could deter or prevent such attempts.  Many retired cops are former members of the Emergency Service and are also EMT Technicians with medical training.  Also, there are retirees who have since retiring become medically trained as nurses.   PO Arnie Roma, 120th Precinct, (ret) and Sgt Joy Fornino, 9th Pct (ret) are examples who are members of the RMP.

If you think that such duty is not critical, or demeaning to your police background and training, then perhaps it would be better just to stay at home and watch what transpires on TV.   That is,  if the national grid is still in operation and your TV is working. 

The issue of Liability and Indemnification for members of the RMP has been raised by many who have considered becoming volunteers.   Prior to the implementation of the Retiree Mobilization Plan,  that was a valid argument against volunteering.  However,  with the issuance of  Operations Order #16, Dated March 13, 2006,  such arguments have been laid to rest.  Those who are registered and trained members of the RMP are Indemnified under General Municipal Law Section 50K .  This is due to the fact that such members are  considered  “employees” of the City of New York . They are expressly authorized to participate in a city -sponsored volunteer program.    That is why it is so important to become registered members and receive training in this program.   If and when a large-scale incident requires a mass mobilization of retirees,  it will be too late to ask such questions.  We will all be in a world of trouble and action not words will be required. 


LtoR: Sgt Joy Fornino, NYPD (ret), PO Hani Kutteh, ESU Truck 8, PO Arnie Roma, NYPD (ret)
Sgt Fornino and PO Roma are registered nurses

PO Hani Kutteh, ESU Truck 8 conducting BLS trainng for RMP members

LtoR: John Petrullo, POPPA, Lt. Mike Ryan, RMP Coordinator

Rmp members at the training seminar, May 10, 2008

Ed Reuss with DI Theresa Tobin,  CO, Staff Support Services, Personnel Bureau

To register as a retiree, go to: http://www.nypd2.org/retirement/home.html    





Copyright 2008 Edward D Reuss


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