Los Angeles Fire Department
September 11, 2001
World Trade Center
New York, New York
September 19, 2001
TO ALL MEMBERS
SUBJECT: THE WAR AGAINST TERRORISM
In the wake of the incomprehensible events of last week, we as a nation, a Department, and as individuals find ourselves focusing on the short-and long-term impact of terrorism on American soil. As news commentators have repeated over the last several days, life as we knew it will never be the same and the extent of this change will only be determined over time. The attacks on our nation have left us feeling potentially vulnerable to the evil whims of eccentric extremists and never in our lifetime have we had to deal with such uncertainty. Regular activities such as reporting to work or outings with family members will now be undertaken amidst concerns for safety and security.
As a nation, we are now awaiting our government's response to last week's terrorist attacks. Most certainly, our lives will be affected regardless of where or how how our leaders choose to respond. Not since World War II have Americans been called upon to think of the national interest, but we undoubtedly will be forced to. With approximately one-third of Department members under age 40, our nation's inevitable military action will be a new phenomenon. Over the past several days, we have witnessed demonstrations of patriotism and pride in unprecedented proportion. We will, however, need to maintain that national loyalty while remaining steadfast in our vigilance.
The fury of events on the morning of September 11th thrust our Department into a state of heightened readiness. Our field members, staff members, and civilian members were all impacted by our immediate need to ensure the protection of the City of Los Angeles. While I firmly believe that our preparations were adequate, I believe areas in need of improvement were uncovered. Issues such as the deployment of personnel, the staffing of resources, and the transportation of our civilian members to another work site showed that operational plans need to e re-evaluated and updated immediately, not in the near future. I call on our Department's top managers to lead and respond accordingly. And I expect all members to cooperate fully while remaining focused on the potential problems that may occur within our City. As members of the Los Angeles Fire Department, we are charged with protecting the City of Los Angeles and faltering in this mandate will not be tolerated.
To All Members
September 19, 2001
Our Department has over a century of rich history where we have responded to the needs of those who called upon us. As always, we shall continue to provided the finest fire, emergency medical, and rescue services available. However, due to the ultimate bravery and supreme sacrifices made by the New York Fire Department - our profession is now in the world's spotlight and we must respond by showing our strength in unity, calm, and professionalism. Never before has the Fire Service attained such a pedestalled position and we must remain vigilant of that fact and conduct ourselves accordingly.
As individuals, these catastrophic events are indeed troubling for everyone. As emergency responders, our families face the added burden of concern for our safety while we perform our duty to the public. At this time, we do not know how our when our nation will respond, only that it will. Therefore, we must prepare ourselves, our families, and our households for the unforeseen which may be lengthy and difficult.
Together, we shall face whatever crises are forced upon us. And, as always, we shall remain strong, vigilant, and prepared.
WILLIAM R. BAMATTRE
Copyright 2001 All Rights Reserved.