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Friday, November 2, 2012

Rescue Workers Face Serious Safety Issues

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Northern Jersey 1st responders are confronting serious safety issues as these heros go forward with the rescue and recovery process.

While some are acts of nature cause near fatal and devastating injuries,others are caused by the failure of  civil authorities to adequately plan and act appropriately.

In Wayne NJ a police office was paralyzed when a tree fell upon his vehicle during the storm. Multiple hours of surgery saved his life, but serious injuries remained. 

A very serious gasoline shortage exists throughout the New York City area. Long lines, angry customers exist. Panic and fear are becoming more common. Problems have escalated as food supplies dwindle. Announcements have been made that clean water is now becoming scarce. Credit card machines continue to be disabled by the continuing massive power outages. Near freezing temperatures are moving into the region where heat is non-existent as fuel shortages and power outages persist.

The NY Times reported on the gas crisis besieging the region. "I've been pumping gas for 36 hours; I pumped 1,500 gallons. My nose, my mouth is bleeding from the fumes. The fighting just makes it worse."
ABHISHEK SONI, the owner of an Exxon in Montclair, N.J., where disputes on the line had become so heated that he summoned police officers to restore calm.
Gasoline is just not available. One needs to travel 5 exists west into Pennsylvania in search of fuel. Then you can see lines of trucks unsafely filling 55 gallon storage barrels with fuel from the gas station pumps to feed home generators. Compounding yet another problem of carbon monoxide exposures by improperly used equipment. No talk yet of gasoline rationing and no safety warnings.
Worker safety should be of prime concern in the rescue and recovery effort. Authorities need to step-up to the plate and protect our heros.

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