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tv   Reel America Managing Terrorism Events - the Oklahoma Experience - 1996  CSPAN  April 19, 2020 4:00pm-5:31pm EDT

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, four elements that i have to receive information regarding -- >> everybody look down here now. watch the electricity! [sirens blaring] >> the murrah federal building has been blown up. >> holy cow. [sirens blaring] ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ >> welcome to the emergency education network. tonight, live from oklahoma city, "managing terrorism events, the oklahoma experience." and now, your host ken hines.
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ken: good evening and welcome to the emergency education network. i'm ken hines, your host for this broadcast which is coming to you live from the firefighters memorial museum in oklahoma city, oklahoma. now the topic of this broadcast is "managing terrorism events, the oklahoma experience." tonight, it's affecting every nation including our own. it appears in strikes without warning and leaves a trail of anger, fear and frustration in its path. its name? well, it is called terrorism, a word that has been ringing in our ears all too frequently of late. oklahoma city, oklahoma, is a city that just over a year ago experienced a devastation of mammoth proportion as a massive truck bomb exploded and ripped apart the murrah federal building downtown. this violent act of terrorism
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killed and injured hundreds of victims and caused severe damage. emergency personnel and law enforcement officers from every corner of the country worked around the clock in and around the remains of the federal building to extricate survivors, retrieve victims and search for clues to the cause of this horrific scene. now, it seemed as though the entire nation stood still holding its breath as each hour past watching as the death toll , continued to climb, trying to comfort the families and the friends of those locked inside the rubble. this tremendous tragedy of lost lives in middle america is one that we will not soon forget. we'll start tonight's program with an overview of the initial response by representatives of oklahoma city's fire, police, e.m.s. and public works. now, we will learn from these departments how cooperation was not only required but vital between response and enforcement personnel as this disaster scene became a crime scene.
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our focus will move on to look one year later at the aftermath, what we have learned and how we can become better prepared as a result of this terrible, terrible emergency. now we will hear from federal authorities and technical response trainers from virginia as they describe how processes and procedures and training initiatives have changed nationwide. as always, you'll have the opportunity to speak directly to our presenters during two call-in sessions and share your views and opinions with them. now, we are very, very fortunate to have with us tonight a group of experts who were the first on the scene after this terrible bombing incident occurred. the first 12 hours were the most critical in caring for the injured. let's welcome fire chief gary marrs. chief marrs was involved with the incident from the very beginning, and he will give us an overview of what they encountered on the scene and how it was handled. chief marrs, welcome.
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i'll let you begin. mr. marrs: thank you, ken. welcome to oklahoma and our museum. we are proud to have you. april 19th, of 1995, certainly started out as a typical spring day in oklahoma. warm and sunny. and of course, the explosion occurred. you see that this picture here is pretty indicative of the type of debris that was laying around the murrah building and was what we encountered when we first responded. the first group out of station one were approaching this scene from the west as was the incident commander. also coming out of station one. but this is pretty indicative of what they were finding in the streets. you see a lot of debris out of the building, briefcases, office equipment. we were also encountering a lot of the walking wounded which inhibited the response coming down the street. we found many damaged buildings and as i have mentioned the walking wounded coming up. started stopping some of the companies before they actually got up to the building. we had kind of a staggered
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response coming in. we had a lot of other buildings damaged also. we had as you can see the , smaller buildings in the foreground, the water resources and the athenia building received severe building and one -- were certainly some of the ones that were first seen. and the residential complex also in the background had a lot of people coming out of it, evacuating that building. you see the smoke from the car fires parking lot across the , street was certainly inhibiting the view and blocking some of the view as was the dust from the explosion itself. the -- all the fires that we had were in the parking lot, the cars that were on fire. we had no fire in any of the buildings whatsoever that morning. so all the fire that was fought was in the first 30 minutes or so until we could get those car fires extinguished, and the remainder of our operations were all rescue and recovery operations. one of the first things that we did was, we had so many structures that were damaged and
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had people in them that we set up the incident command system to where each of the building was a separate division. rather than setting up an incident command for each building, we worked under one incident command and set the different buildings as divisions. we had a murrah division and a regency division and so on and so forth. some of the search-and-rescue involved some of the floor areas that were still standing in the murrah building. you see here a picture where the rescue operations on the north building. you see 135 foot aerial working the east part of the building. in the foreground there is a 95 platform. and a 100-foot aerial came up between those two. so we had three aerial apparatus working the front of the building. certainly the rubble pile also. we had numerous building that could free themselves or that we got freed a very easily.
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could also make it off of the south side of the building down a stairwell that remained intact. we had a lot of foot traffic and walking wounded coming on to a plaza. but all of the north side rescues were taken off of this aerial apparatus. our initial command post area was at 6th and harvey which was one block north of the murrah building. you can see the pictures that some of the agencies are starting to organize here, some of the command posts and organization that was going on here and set up here. the -- some of the hanging debris and rubble that were being cleared in that first day, i think we have another slide coming up here. the -- this is pretty typical of the hanging debris in the building that were certainly presenting a hazard. some of the rescues that were taking place in front of the building, we had one of the civilian rescuers, a nurse was struck by something fallen off
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one of the floors, making -- she was working a rubble pile and , died later in the hospital. but the initial search and rescue of the building come off off the rubble pile and the remaining floors. we started to address those long-term issues starting to worry about -- we knew who was going to go into the night looking at lighting, food, sanitation problems at the building for the long-term aspect of it. the logistics and financial. we knew -- later in the day we knew we had the urban search and rescue teams coming in. we needed a larger logistic area. we started working towards emergency procurement procedure to get those things -- the supplies and things that we needed. that we knew we were going to need in that long-term operation. and then by nightfall, the first usar teams arrived on the scene and we started working -- coordinating with them. as you can see we had storms an
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d high winds moving in. i mentioned at the start of this morning, it was a warm sunny day. went to thunderstorms and tornado warnings at night. and that was pretty typical of the operations over the next two weeks. ken: very good. thanks, chief. we'll get to hear from you a little bit later on. we have heard the fire department's perspective and how they moved on the crisis. now, let's move and turn our attention to the law enforcement division and examine how this branch organized the response activity. necessary in this incident. here to give us that overview is oklahoma city chief of police is sam gonzales. chief, thank you very much for being here. chief gonzales: thank you, ken. it's my pleasure to be here with you. they had three actions that they could choose. the first of these was to go into the building and assist in the rescue of the building -- the injured people inside of the building. as you can see from this slide, the water mains inside the building had burst. the inside was very, very hazardous to be in.
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we have identified over 70 of our first responders who had entered the building to assist in the rescue of the injured and the recovery of the bodies. secondary objective of those responding was the transportation of the injured. as chief marrs had said for blocks around, the streets were filled and lined with people who were injured. we have identified over five police cars that were used in the transporting, and if we can bring up the next slide, we have identified over five of our vehicles that were used in the transporting of over 30 of the victims to the closest hospital to us which was st. anthony's hospital. certainly the rescue of the injured the transportations of , those victims into the hospital. the third objective and probably one of the most important was the immediate control of our streets so that we could have access for the later responding emergency equipment to be able to get the scene. and we have a slide that should
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depict early on our maintaining control of the streets. this is very early on. we have set up the perimeters, a couple of blocks back in any direction, that allowed access of the emergency equipment responding to the location. we found from a historical perspective, that it's very important for that emergency equipment to be able to go get -- able to get the location. -- get to the location. the next thing we had to do then is find a command center that was going to accommodate all of the law enforcement personnel that was necessary. this slide shows you that we've got national guard personnel there. we've got the department of police safety personnel there. and in the background, this man served as the law enforcement and fire command center throughout this entire operation. the last slide that i have shows the size of our perimeter. we collected evidence and had evidence inside of 20 square blocks. so we had an extremely large crime scene perimeter. it took about 450 law enforcement officers on a daily basis just to maintain our perimeters.
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we had help from the oklahoma highway patrol, the oklahoma sheriff's office, and 114 other agencies came to assist us with the personnel. ken: my goodness. chief we'll be back to talk more , specifically about some of things that you did. thank you very much. also joining us is dr. peter maningas, he is the oklahoma city medical director of the emergency medical services. and doctor, e.m.s. critical in this emergency. people seeking care, working with the fire department, law enforcement. why don't you give us your overview about your initial response to the emergency? dr. manigas: thank you, ken. i brought some footage that may help illustrate the e.m.s. response. within minutes, the massive medical response was initiated. if i can please have that film. the first call came in at 9:03. >> we have got several injuries downtown. an explosion. >> where is it at? >> ymca on 5th. >> do you know how many we've got? >> there is injuries all over the place downtown. >> on it. right away.
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dr. manigas: even before this call came in at 9:03, the paramedics began to come on scene. and paramedics converged on the scene. they came from the north and the south. from the north they came from st. anthony's hospital. the first ambulance was in the process of unloading a patient at the time when the paramedic heard the blast. felt the blast. immediately gravitated towards the smoke. heading north on robinson -- excuse me, harvey until he made it to the northwest corner of the building where he was essentially overtaken by huge numbers of people both injured and uninjured. he was followed by a supervisor who stopped at the corner of 6th and harvey where the fire department had established their instant command post. there were two other ambulances that came from the north. one was in the process of refueling. and the other was manned by paramedics who were being taught advanced cardiac life support at the time. they stopped at the corner of 6th and robinson not knowing
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that the federal building had been involved because of the smoke that had been streaming in the skies from the car fires located in the parking lot across the street from the federal building. there are four other additional ambulances that came from the southwest, from the fleet maintenance facility. three of them went to the western side of the building, and a forth to a eastern side of the building accompanied by a supervisor. on this first e.m.s. response, the casualty count continued to swell out into the streets. you can roll it please. , >> we've got two critical. [indiscernible] we need a unit. got about four or five critical. about 100 walking wounded. >> i need a hospital. i've got one critical. and i -- [indiscernible] >> we've got two critical and one walking wounded. can you advise which hospital? >> emergency. >> could you tell us where you're going to be setting up your triage station?
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you boys need -- >> we're starting to get most locations and start categorizing. [indiscernible] >> we have a triage set up. at 6th and robinson. all walking patients. ask them to go through harvey or robinson for triage. dr. manigas: at 9:08 the first triage station was established at 6th and robinson where ambulances waited for receipt of patients. the way in was south on robinson and the way out was east on 6th street. there was initial response comprised of paramedics coming from other parts of the city and paramedics manned by -- excuse me, ambulances manned by off-duty paramedics.
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there were 12 ambulances at the time of the blast. at 9:10 -- at 9:10 paramedics began to arrive at the fleet maintenance facility. at 9:15 there was a page for all off-duty paramedics to return to duty. and at 9:17 these ambulances manned by off-duty paramedics coming from other parts of the city converged on the scene. can you roll that, please? they came from all directions. from the north and the southeast, they converged on the initial triage area from the south and southwest, they converged on the western side of the building. by 9:25 most of the ambulance resources were depleted. so at 9:25 a call for mutual aid went out. between 9:25 and 10:30, 14 other municipalities sent an additional 20 units. if i could have that, please?
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again, these units converged in all directions. by the end, within that first hour and a half, there were of six ambulances that would arrive on the scene. 34 from oklahoma city. three from tulsa. and 29 from mutual aid municipalities. they were transported over 100 patients that first hour. 32% would have serious injuries. major lacerations about the neck and face, coupled with blunt trauma. 12% would have moderate injuries and 50% would be walking wounded. following this evacuation of the initial stream of patients, there was a new concern. there was indication that the maximum occupancy of the building during normal business hours with approximately 900. there was a fear there was still hundreds of patients still stuck the building. so we moved the triage area next to building itself. may i have that, please? so the triage area was moved at 10:21 to the northeast corner of the building. the way in and out was somewhat
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circuitous because of the presence of a charged fire hose that was across robinson avenue that was being used or had been used to put out the fires in the parking lot. occurred an event which changed the disaster response from that point forward. may i have that, please? >> come on now. come on now. get out of there! let's go! get out. all companies come out of the building. right now, everybody evacuate the federal building. >> remove all your personnel from the building immediately. possible explosives planted in the building. i repeat, evacuate the building immediately. dr. manigas: at 10:29 the first bomb threat occurred, the exact nature of the bomb threat was not known at the time. all rescuers and medical personnel were told was that they were to stop what they were doing and to immediately evacuate the area. this photograph was taken from
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the regency tower facility looking at the north face of the building and the fire apparatuses abandoned. next slide, please. this caused the e.m.s. sector to push to the east. the triage area was located at the railroad tracks on sixth street. the staging areas were pushed to the north and the south. next slide. at 10:50 there was a second bomb threat. next slide. and this pushed everyone back and the triage area was pushed back to 6th street and harrison at the location of an abandoned warehouse. within minutes that warehouse was turned into a field hospital manned by over 50 physicians, nurses and paramedics, capable of providing initial stabilization in the event local hospitals became overloaded. next slide, please. but during the next few it hours, became apparent that there were not going to be a large number of patients that were going to be taken from the
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building alive. therefore at 3:30, the staging area was moved to the western side of the building where it remained to support rescue operations. in first hour and a half, 200 transported by other means. police, van, pickup trucks. there would be 422 patients seen at area hospitals that day. 17 389 would be injured. 89 would be admitted to the hospital. and of those that were transported, we only had six fatalities. one was dead on arrival, two died in the emergency department. and three died from complications related to their multiple injuries. ken: very good, doctor. thank you very much for being with us. we'll talk to you later on. now, joining us is bob ricks, of ofpecial agent in charge oklahoma and currently the director of oklahoma's department of public safety. also paul brum, the director of
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oklahoma department of public works and city engineer. is, all of whom -- employees, all of them were involved. he was selected as one of top 10 public works directors in north america. gentlemen, welcome here. a great deal to discuss. i guess one of the questions since we brought bob and paul in, would be a massive event -- before we went on the air, we talked about when the f.b.i. responded very quickly within -- after the emergency. let's talk about that law enforcement inter-cooperation. obviously, you knew each other. knew the capabilities of of the departments. bob, what did you do when your agents were initially deployed? mr. ricks: initially my agents were deployed directly to the scene even before i arrived. they were assisting in the rescue mission of the initial response as well. and starting to -- to conduct some preliminary evident gathering and looking where
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perimeters were. when i arrived, the first thing that i did was to seek out sam gonzales, the chief of police, because i knew primarily it would be the decisions that he and i made on the scene and that moment that would probably pretty much solidify what we would do in the future. sam was looking for me at the time. sam and i had attended various schools back at the f.b.i. we knew each other on a personal level as well as a professional level. and if there's one thing i could stress, it's not a time to develop a relationship after a bomb goes off. you must have that relationship developed before-hand. and in the case with sam gonzales and myself, we already had that. sam, because of his prior training at the f.b.i. national academy as well as other advanced management schools, had to have training with regard to terrorism and understood what the fbi's role was in regard to suchiness such incidents. sam, when he and i got together
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said bob, this looks like it's a , terrorist incident, and under the guidelines in existence it's primarily the response of the fbi. we will give you every bit of assistance that you need. but we understand that the criminal investigation must rest in your hands. i appreciated that. we had that agreement and that pact from the beginning. after that we both went together to search out the chief of the fire department gary marrs. and we had also had a previous relationship through various groups that we belonged to, same type of groups where we did benefits for fire and police, as well as we knew each other on a professional and social basis. again gary marrs indicated that he would be there to assist whatever had to be done. but it was at that moment because of the nature what existed, the catastrophe, that we said the primary focus initially had to be the search and rescue mission. we can always obtain the evidence later. but primarily we needed to set
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up the perimeters. we needed to secure the inner and the outer perimeter. but let nothing interfere with that rescue mission. and that -- that was the agreement we had with gary from the beginning. ken: i think it's important to note for the viewers that in fact the fbi did not have its offices in the federal building, did it not? mr. ricks: that's correct. we were about 10 miles away from where the explosion took place. we were in a commercial office building instead of the federal building. ken: how many agents were initially deployed to assist the police department? approximatelyhad 70 fbi agents in the oklahoma city area. the entire office did respond at least in one fashion or another. we also had to maintain a command center at the main office as well. within the first, oh, 24 hours, we probably had another 200 fbi agents that responded to the area. that creates a logistics problems. you have 200 or so people who
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are coming to town. you have to find space, you have to find cars, you have to find telephones. you have to equip people who are coming to the field office often times with nothing other than their person. some were close enough in the vicinity that they drove and brought materials with them. but in some cases we had agents from throughout the country who were only bringing their person. we had to fully equip these people. ken: sure. chaoticnow it is very with what has occurred. what were you looking for from the fbi? chief gonzales: the murrah building housed 19 federal agents, the secret service was there. atf. it was important for us to establish immediately that the fbi was going to be the lead federal agency that was going to do the investigation and make sure that the other agencies knew that our coordination was going to be with and through the fbi. a bob has said, we have personal relationship, we have a
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working relationship. and it made it extremely easy to accomplish these. the same with chief marrs. we got together in oklahoma city at about 10:45 or 10:50 along with our mayor and established some guidelines, areas of responsibility some times to go , public and have our first press conference. and from there things seemed to , fall in place pretty well. ken: paul, we are not ignoring you on the end here. but a lot of people may not realize that an operation of this magnitude from the discussions we've had here calls for a lot more players than just the initial emergency responders and ems. let's talk a little bit about what oklahoma city public works did providing portable toilets, barricades things like that. , what was your initial -- when did you get your initial call and when did you do things? mr. brum: our first response was, some of my supervisors were there within minutes. they actually utilized their pickups to take some of the walking wounded to the hot.
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then in return they would bring doctors and nurses and equipment back to the bomb site while they were waiting on a barricade crew who naturally were followed up. as soon as a bomb went off, i made call to my barricade people and asked them to head toward the site. and so within about 10 or 15 minutes we had crews that were actuallye that were there to support the police department in trying to take care of the perimeter to keep the people out that shouldn't be in the area. ken: and that raises an interesting point that we raised -- we discussed earlier in the day. doctor, one of the things that we saw on television was just this massive response of volunteers. doctors, nurses. i don't know whether reports of the media requested doctors or nurses. off-duty police officers. firefighters, everybody came. what kind of -- let's talk specifically about e.m.s., the problems that that presented for you. dr. manigas: this incident was unique that it was located within two miles of five major hospitals, the v.a., the university hospital, children's, st. anthony presbyterian.
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because of that, physicians and nurses initially went to the emergency departments, but soon the emergency departments themselves were inundated. saint anthony's indicated at one time they had 1,000 medical personnel poised to offer their medical assistance. then there was some unsolicited apparently some unsolicited request on behalf of the media for anybody with any type of medical training to go into the federal building itself. and indeed, they went. that,oblem was, with these medical volunteers were not part of the command system, and were essentially unprotected and acted in an uncoordinated fashion. it was really a two-edged sword. we needed assistance in evacuating people from the area. however as chief shannon indicated to me, when he later on told me that not only did he have the responsibility of the firefighters but those still trapped in the rubble. but now as these medical
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volunteers enter the building , they became his responsibilities as well. and the risk was exemplified by the death of rebecca anderson, who was that licensed practical nurse who was struck on the head by some debris and later died. ken: one of the things that seems to be a common theme in disaster responses across the united states is initially those first arriving police cars fire , trucks and ambulance were a magnet to the walking wounded. oftentimes it's not the walking wounded that need the care. it's the people that can't walk to the ambulances. chief, let's go to you. when the first engine arrived, what did he do? did he just put out a general alarm? multiples? what did he do? chief marrs: the incident commander, district chief was responding from the same station that the first crews were. so the chief was able to establish command very quickly and it wasn't necessary for one of the first companies to do that. but you're correct. the walking wounded, the streets were so clogged that -- with not
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only the debris but the people that the crews were having to go very slowly, when eventually they would have to stop because of either people or whatever. and they got out to treat those people. they may have been minor, but they seemed to be very -- as you said a magnet. other people saw the firemen working on those. they would then come over and it was almost like they were starting to stack up there and getting treatment. of course they're not going to walk off and leave them at that point. so those first few crews were taken by some of the walking wounded and so forth that were actually preventing them to get up close to the building itself. , was it ams, doctor problem -- maybe not problem was the correct world but was ate -- was it a challenge to set up that triage? dr. manigas: it was a challenge, i mean, there were to many people about the streets injured and uninjured all trying to get help, offer assistance, and it was as any disaster, a chaos. that's why the instant command
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system was so important. ken: one of the things i found kind of amazing, talking to bob and sam here, was that pretty early on you all were thinking that this is a crime scene which we're going to discuss in our next segment. but fire people were thinking -- your thought was natural gas explosion? chief marrs: well certainly. , in your fire training and fire experience, you're trying to go through some of those catastrophes that fire people think of whether it would be chemicals or gas build-up or a gas pipeline and so forth and trying to figure out from those choices what it could have been. speaking with all five of you sitting here as you put your collective heads together that morning thinking back. and there's a lot of lessons learned there in terms of things that you did right and things you wish you maybe might have modified just a little bit, is there anything that jumps out of a real success that you had? obviously, you had the relationships. everybody knew everybody. and i think that's an important element. bob, let's start with you. mr. ricks: we had many
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successes, you know, when you consider the -- the -- immensity of what occurred. one area, though, where we had a weakness early on, which was displayed pretty glaringly was our failure to communicate early on. we did not have a common plan -- band that we could communicate. we never really thought about that. we had worked joint exercises with the police department where we would share fbi radios and so forth. but as a general rule, we work separately. in this case, though, we usually thought that we could use cellular phones. and what we found out was because of the catastrophe that occurred, all the cells were locked up, and initially we could not communicate. literally, we were having to meet on street corners. we would send runners and say let's go to 6th and harvey and have a meeting. it was like technology jumped backwards about 100 years.
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the really -- literally the only way we could communicate was face-to-face. this was corrected later in the afternoon. but during the early morning of the chaos, as was described -- we went back to a primitive form of communication. ken: sam, let's go to you. things that you thought really , really went the way they were supposed to go? chief gonzales: i think probably the key was the relationship existing between the three players, the fbi, the fire department and the police department. looking back, one of the things that i'm proudest of that the oklahoma city police department did was a lot of the early responders that took the initiative to set up street barriers, and to stop the traffic, and to do some perimeter control, when you know their hearts are let me go in the building, let me help affect a rescue. let me help somebody that's hurt. but knowing in the long run what we needed to do was seize control of the perimeters and seize control of the egress and access to the building. ken: ok. chief, one of the things that we
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wanted to touch on in the initial response was the media. all right? this was -- as soon as it occurred, it was going out in cnn and all the news services and everything that something had happened in oklahoma city. let's talk about what you did with the media, the pool coverage, i believe. chief gonzales: well, we were getting a lot of questions in later days on the slowness of -- or what they thought was the slowness of the efforts and what was taking so long. and why wasn't more progress being made and so on. so we put together a pool camera network to where we took a representative from the broadcast media, print media, still photographer, radio, put them into what we call the pool and took them inside the building and showed them what was going on, the operations that were going on, the amount of shoring and bracing that was having to be done, the tremendous efforts that were being used to get people out of
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their trapped state and so on. and that had a very positive impact because they were able to come back out -- one of the agreements with those that were selected to go in was that they had to come back out and share that information and film footage and everything else with all of their counterparts. they were able to come back out as the media and explain what they saw and what was going on there. and they weren't hearing it from somebody that they might have been skeptical of. so it had a very positive effect. i think it certainly enlightened a lot of them. mr. brum: paul -- ken: paul, let's go to public works again. what did you have in place that functioned? we don't think of public works being involved in disaster situations. mr. brum: well, naturally, we know that any time we have a disaster, that we're a big player in that disaster whether , it be a tornado or a flood. we know we're going to have to provide the heavy equipment necessary to assist the police or fire department. it's not unusual for us to dig for evidence for the police department or to assist with a hazmat operation.
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so i was amazed that my personnel were taking the initiative, because a lot of times when i would call for something, i would find it was already on the way. one of those issues was lighting. i said we will need lights to assist the fire department. they said we've taken care of it. we're headed that way. i found that happening a lot of times. i found that a lot of my people wanting to get invvolved that perhaps they didn't need be involved. we were actually having to hold some of those people back. ken: very good. thank you, gentlemen. we have heard from representatives from the core response groups explain how they organized the response efforts within the first 12 hours of the bombing incident. next we'll take a look how the teams work in corporation as we've heard already at the bomb becamed how they quickly -- how the bomb site quickly became am crime scene as well as a disaster scene. we'll be right back. ♪
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welcome back. and for those of you who may just be joining us, we're in oklahoma city speaking with the group of experts that spearheaded the response efforts following the bombing of the federal murrah building in 1995. after the initial response efforts were underway, it was apparent that this disaster
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scene was also a crime scene. how does continue a search and one rescue effort without disrupting any criminal evidence? and how do personnel teams work as a unit to receive -- retrieve victims, brace and shore the building and remove rubble and debris without disturbing that critical evidence of this criminal act? here to tell us is chief gary marrs. let's start with you. how did your department work to rescue folks and not disturb any evidence? chief marrs: well, after that first day that we discussed the -- we settled into the long-term rescue and recovery operation. and it was very slow going. the type of debris and rubble was almost picking by hand and doing the -- the -- bringing that debris out. as you can see in this photo here, it was such a cooperative venture because on the back of the coveralls you can see , firefighters from different scenes, but you see fbi and d.e.a. also.
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they were working side by side. initially it started with the firefighters bringing the rubble out in the search and rescue activities while the law enforcement was looking at that and searching it for evidence and personal belongings and so forth. but it very quickly evolved into where everybody was pitching in there and bringing that rubble out in a very coordinated effort. we -- we did a coordinated search of the building, you see, in this picture here as one of the urban search and rescue teams was searching one specific spot. you had to coordinate all of this activity, so that you were covering it in a very coordinated fashion, and you are not going back and repeating certain areas. bracing and shoring activities were something that was taking a long time to do and certainly had to be very coordinated. we -- bob ricks mentioned earlier, the coordination and realizing search-and-rescue was so important. we simply had to make sure that as the fbi and the law enforcement people did their crime scene search and their
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evidence recovery, that we coordinated all that together so they weren't off digging in part of the building that we weren't aware of. the building was very unstable. bracing and shoring was snag was -- was something that was taking us an awful long time to do, extremely slow due the instability of the building. had to be very careful and monitored. in the slide, you can see three distinct floor levels of bracing and shoring with the concrete floors in between them. you see the black steel pipes bracing between the columns. all of the columns were a real concern to us because when they lose their floor connections, they are very unstable. we had to make sure they were solidified. we worked around the clock. we were working 24-day operations. this is a nighttime shot, but you can see how well-lit the front of the building is. paul mentioned earlier the lighting system that was brought in. we had it very well lit. it took a lot of coordination also because the heavy machineries.
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those large cranes we were using was not just something that you could pick up and move very easily when you realized you had to move a crane, the operations while sose for quite a that you could reposition that. that had to be coordinated with a lot of the crime scene work because as they needed that heavy equipment, we had to free up what we could and work with them, but yet moving it and getting it to reposition took a n awful lot of time. one of the things that we stress very heavily in this incident was our csid activities. we started doing defusing with our stress team in the morning and set up a procedure to where all of our people had to go through defusing before they could leave the sight, and we continued that through the whole operation. after the operation was over with, some 17 days later, we put everybody through mandatory debriefing sessions, the entire department. and because of these activities, i think we certainly got a handle on the mental stress
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aspect of this incident and certainly lessened our impact of it. one of the key parts of the incident was what we call the max center, multiagency command center. this was one room in the myriad convention center where we had representatives from all of the agencies. and it was staffed 24 hours a day. it became the one area that you could go to and get supplies ordered, get them delivered, you could get your questions answered, and worked out very well for us. the myriad convention center, i mentioned it earlier, where was we housed a number of the strike teams and it also became our center for our feeding operation. the oklahoma restaurant association was preparing for a convention there which they had to cancel. because of that they already had cooking facilities and food and stuff on hand. and they started preparing meals that very first morning, and they continued that throughout the entire operation serving hot meals 24 hours a day.
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it had restricted access in the myriad. only volunteers and rescue workers were allowed. the media and the general public was not. so it became a way -- became a place for them to get away from a lot of that hectic activity. this is also when the volunteers came out and made such a difference. because there wasn't anything that any of the people working down there wanted that they didn't get, either out of the myriad or somewhere. a lot of talk has gone on around the country about the oklahoma standard, and the community caring i believe was set here at the myriad convention center because they had such a tremendous response from the community and working with the rescue workers. we finished up activities on may the 4th at 11:45 at night. we had worked down to where we only had two victims unaccounted for. we thought we had a pretty good idea of where they were at in the remaining rubble, but yet,
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it was in such a place that the stability of the building would not allow us to clear that area off. we ceased our operations that night. we pulled all the people together and said a few words and the chaplain said a prayer and then we all went home. we had a closure service the next day on the site where we put the word out and let all of the people that had worked in that building or around the building or in the activity work showed up the next day to put whatever closure they needed to to this incident. they could bring their families down, and then at the end of the closure service, we turned that building back to the police department and ceased our operations. ken: thanks, again, chief. let's go to police chief sam gonzales, chief of police for the oklahoma city police department. they were involved in securing evidence of the crime. now, chief, what were some of the obstacles that your department faced and encountered
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in terms of trying to keep the area secure and keep the media from -- keeping them informed but yet keeping them -- using them as a tool? statedonzales: ken, as i earlier, our crime scene was 20 square blocks, probably the hugest crime scene we've ever had. once we established the perimeters, we had to make sure that only those people that were authorized to come into a crime scene were allowed in the crime scene. not only did we have that problem, but we also had to make sure that the many, many businesses, and residences, and dwellings inside this crime scene were safe and secure from people who may try to do some looting, people who may want to pick up some souvenirs of this explosion. we did have a lot of large pieces of evidence that had to be collected within the 20 square blocks. this slide depicts the rear end of what we believe is the bomb vehicle. it was a block away. witnesses said it sounded like a boomerang as it come down the street and impacted the front of this little red car. so we had numerous pieces, large
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pieces of evidence within this 20 square blocks we had to collect. also as chief marrs said, we had to sift through the rubble. and this slide depicts the police, the secret service all of the yellow buckets as they collect debris from the building and take it down to a flat spot down in front of the building. once the debris has gotten to that point, then they used rakes. so they use sifting bins and they would actually sift through all of the debris for the collection both of physical evidence of the crime and for personal property. during this, we collected 440 individual cases of personal property that filled the back of two semitractor trailers. this was loaded in dump trucks. taken off-site and resifted again to make sure that we didn't actually lose any evidence or lose any personal property. we also found out that we had cars across the street that were
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involved in the fire that may contain evidence of the explosion itself. we had teams of federal and local crime scene investigators who processed these cars. we had 82 vehicles that we processed in five days, and got them out of the way. made the rest of the recovery efforts go a lot better. also, within this scene, we had 432 personal cars that were left by the citizens when we established our perimeters, and they could not get back into the crime scene to get their cars out. we established a procedure where they could go to city hall, get a release on their vehicle, and then go to one or two predetermined locations. we were fortunate that we had a recruit class going on at the time. they would go to one of these two locations the recruit would , escort them to their car, make sure it was the proper car and then escort them back out of the crime scene, once again in an attempt that we made sure we kept the integrity of the crime scene going. also with this large of a crime scene, we would have hundreds of
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volunteers inside this crime scene each day. we had to make sure that the people in there had to be in there. we issued tags. anybody that came on to the scene, law enforcement, personnel, salvation army, red cross, any of the volunteers all received an i.d. tag. the background of the tag told you readily if you were looking at them, the amount of access to the crime scene that they had. a clear background was law enforcement, gave you access to anything. a red background was very restrictive. and you had to be escorted by someone. during the process, we issued over 25,000 of these tags. we also had a problem in maintaining the integrity of the crime scene in making sure that we could get food into the hundreds and hundreds of volunteers each day so that we would have hot food. ups, one of our very, very good corporate citizens, came to our rescue.
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they have a very recognizable truck, a driver that wears the uniform, and id so they could , make the food deliveries and we could maintain the integrity of the crime scene. i think the last thing i would like to talk about would be the media. we were very fortunate because the police public information officer established very early the fact that we needed a location very close to the scene. but one that we would isolate. he identified two squared blocks and we secured them. we put all the media in that one location. the media represented a unique challenge and that the difference in the organizational culture of police and fire and law enforcement and disaster and crime scene and disaster where normally police try to keep media out of crime scenes, and disasters, we need to document what we're doing. fire department needed media to come in and document what they were doing. so we had some early differences of how we handled the media that we worked through rather
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rapidly. i think it went real well. it was important we established the very first day to get some factual information to the media. until we could get factual information to them the media , without factual knowledge would go to the experts to determine who did this, and as we all recall very early on, the experts determined it was major -- middle easterners who caused this crime and caused quite a consternation. ken: middle eastern. a point that was raised was that oklahoma city, the division heads -- department heads had been to the emergency management institute less than a year before for one of the integrated emergency courses, the mayor, ems, public works. let's talk about that. was that a good experience? obviously, i know it's a good experience going to e.m.i., having been there a number of times. but the pluses that came from that, maybe -- did that give you
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an edge here, ahead of the start? dr. manigas: i think what it did was solidified. some personal relationships were established prior to the disaster. it solidified the understanding of each other's roles and responsibilities during a disaster. and it was a tremendous experience i think for the city. it was integral to the success of the disaster operations. ken: paul, with you, public works, your crane operators there probably don't travel in the same circles. you might go by the fire station. you obviously see the police officers in the street. what about being included in this? mr. brum: well, our dispatchers got to meet the dispatchers of the police and fire department. so they knew them on a first-name basis, so it made it very easily -- easy for them to make contact with those people. whenever they needed something from us, they weren't bashful about calling. and really didn't care what it was they wanted. they just said we need it. and it was our responsibility to see that it was there. ken: that is great.
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bob, from a criminal standpoint, we're talking about this as a disaster scene and a crime scene. one of things they teach you in law enforcement academy is don't let people contaminate the scene. whatever they bring in, they have added to it. maybe you can or can't tell us. but as the buckets were carried out, what were the items being looked for? were there any indicators given to the rescue people as to look for this? these are the things we're interested in, or what were you looking for specifically if you can tell us? mr. ricks: well we had evidence , response teams that came in from throughout the country. and we would have supervisors on the scenes themselves that would be looking at the material that were brought out. ken: ok. mr. ricks: and pretty quickly we could make a determination if it had anything to do with the bombing or containing these bombing type substances that needed to be tested. fortunately, with the bomb, what you're trying to do, you're trying to put back together the vehicle, first-off. you're trying to find as many components of the vehicle as
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you possibly can. you're looking for my bombing component that you may find. and there are certain telltale signs that exist there. these are not items that are easily destroyed. certain bombing materials, the components of the bombing material, they may be destroyed because of weather, rain, etc., but the hardware that comprises the bomb, that generally is not going to be destroyed. so we weren't worried about someone standing on a piece of evidence and destroying it or whatever, but we had the same concerns. that is we had to maintain a chain of custody just like any other crime scene, even though it was much larger in scope, and we had many people that were involved in the process. ultimately, we had to have an fbi agent or whoever was assigned to that particular task, sign off on that piece of evidence. we had to be able to identify exactly where that evidence was obtained. it had to be initialed, it had to be followed and maintain
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the proper custody. certain procedures had to be set up, and it was made even more complex because it was the largest disaster for many of the agencies involved that they had ever encountered in the history of their agencies. so obviously they wanted to participate. and we could not without destroying long-term relations exclude them from the investigations. so we had at times 20 and 30 different agencies that were participants in this investigation. many rightfully so. it was up to us to find a legitimate function for them to be in the investigation, but at the same time, the ultimate responsibility for the integrity of the investigation rested with the fbi. so it was somewhat complex to insure we integrated into somewhat of a unified command but still the ultimate responsibility had to reside with the fbi. ken: ok. gary, something we talked about earlier also, great deal of discussions going on here prior to the show, was sam talked
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about a police department p.i.o. you have a p.i.o. fbi special agent in charge, maybe the spokesperson in charge. ems might have a p.i.o. in a situation such as this one, but it -- there was not one spokesperson. everybody took a turn and spoke about their area of expertise. chief marrs: well, that's true. it worked out very well. i know a lot of courses one person speaking for the incident and so on. but we found that the way we worked it, seemed to work very well for us. and it -- i think one of the key factors was we didn't have any of those egos or turf battles going on in oklahoma city. we were also blessed with the political structure that didn't feel the need to be the lead people to stand up or talk or to try to lead the incident. so hopefully what you saw in the national press briefings that we did daily was you saw sam doing the police talk.
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you saw the -- bob do the fbi stuff. the mayor talked about the city. i talked about the fire rescue. and when questions came up that were not of say my area, i would certainly make sure that was handed off to one of the others to answer. and that seemed to work very well. and the we also kept, down close to the site, we kept representative there is 24 hours a day to answer those questions and to deal with the media, and to do those on-the-spot interviews and a little news breaks and so forth, and to make sure we try to get the media people as much as they needed and worked with their schedules because we knew we were restricting them and keeping them in a very tight quarters. so we knew we had to turn around and work with them very well. ken: peter, let's go to an issue that i think is in disaster management is difficult to manage. and that accountability of victims. finding out how many people were in the building. how many people were walking down the street in the buildings across the street.
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plus you're sending people to different hospitals by ambulance, going in police cars. was accountability of victims or number of victims impossible initially? dr. manigas: it was nearly impossible to do. we used triage tags to properly identify the patient. there were just too many people who were too badly hurt to worry about triage tags as a primary priority. our priority was to get the people out of the -- out of the building and get them to a hospital. so it was very difficult to have an accurate number of how many patients were actually transported at any given time. we tried very hard to do that to have a general idea. but certainly we didn't have accurate figures. ken: one of the things they teach you also in disaster schools is not to overload one particular hospital. i think you said seven hospitals
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were involved in this. dr. manigas: 17. 17 received 389 patients. ken: were you loading the ambulances? were there more than two or three people per ambulance, or on the buses? dr. manigas: what we tried to do was maintain no more than one critical patient per ambulance. at the most, two patients or possibly three in some situations. but there would never be more than one critical patient on a unit. patients found different modes of transportation to the hospital. you heard chief gonzales and many went by police vehicle, many by pickup truck. some walked. there was a story i heard from saint anthony's, an individual with a brand-new corvette carrying them back and forth to saint anthony's hospital loading patients one by one. ken: the phone calls that must have been coming in to police, fire, i am trying to find out
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about my loved one. that's not something i have heard addressed. did you all get phone calls? did the 911 operator get phone calls? was there an increase in phone calls to 911? chief gonzales: there was an increase to 911. during the first hour we abandoned like 1000 phone calls that we could not answer. we one of the things we learned on a personal note was our emergency response team that them and, we back paid they would call out the communications division and find out where to go. luckily, television coverage was good enough they all went to the training center and we dispatch them from there. it changed the method that we do when we dispatch emergency response teams. >> a lot more to talk about we have some phone calls coming up in a second. we heard about the oklahoma city
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fire and police department's were able to work together, performing rescue and recovery without disturbing evidence. when we return, we will take a look at how things have changed one year after the emergency, and what future initiatives to expect from response personnel. please stay with us. ♪
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>> welcome back. we have discussed how operations were handled at the federal building disaster. we will talk again, we talked about it being a crime scene and rescued efforts were balanced against that, maintaining and preserving that critical evidence. we will focus on the changes this has brought to various first responder departments, and what new procedures have been developed and what future initiatives we can expect. chief morrow, what did you learn and what would you pass on? if there was one thing you could tell people out there, what would that be? chief morrow: i have been asked
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that many times and i don't know that i could say a lesson is learned so much as reinforced. it goes back to communication and cooperation. i can't stress enough how important i thought it was that number one, people had gotten together together and talked and planned and trained together, as you mentioned some time that. if they don't get anything out of this other than one thing they need to understand that one agency cannot handle these scenes by themselves. it takes an effort by all of the different people doing what they do best, and letting people do that and not try to micromanage an incident or one agency trying to micromanage an incident. i think again, the lesson reinforced for us is you have to work, you have to communicate, you have to cooperate. i know that since the bombing incident, more than ever we have been doing training, we have
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been communicating, we have been getting response teams together not only with police and fire, public works, they are doing a lot of initiatives now. public works people are getting involved in rescue training and so on. again, just a lesson reinforced about interagency communication. >> paul, if you had one thing to pass along to public works people or emergency service people you would work with, what would it be? paul: the most important thing is to get your emergency call list up-to-date. that list does not only cover your own personnel but it must cover police, fire, it also needs to cover telephone, utility companies. my emergency call list has all of my contractor's names and phone numbers, down three levels of personnel. it tells me how much equipment they've gotten where it is located in the city. >> peter? peter: there are two things we
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have changed since the incident. the first is the way we handle volunteers. we've changed the emergency operation plan in case some thing like this happens again, that nurses will first go to their houses instead of the emergency department. if more medical support is needed, it will go to another site staged away from the incident. also, because the communications assistant fell into disuse, i believe 75% of the hospitals's systems were not functioning and we had to go back and monitor and evaluate our communications hardware and put it back into service. >> chief? >> what bob said earlier to me was one of the strong keys, to have a pre-existing relationship between police and fire and federal agencies. the middle of the crisis is not
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the time to come in and say i am sam gonzalez and i am the police chief. you have to have those in place. >> i can see that from oklahoma city, the state capital. would your advice be the same for a small bedroom community, 30,000? >> probably more so. anytime you have an incident of this magnitude. if this had not been a federal building, it would still be an act of terrorism. there's no way the police department would've had the resources to immediately follow-up and go to kansas and do what needed to be done, go to arizona. our resources are not there. you will need the resources of the fbi and federal government to do that. you need the resources of the fire department or urban search and rescue. in training, if there is a place we fall short, it is the police and agencies train a lot together and as a city we
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train a lot together, but seldom we as a city in the federal law-enforcement train together and that's the other perspective to bring in. host: that would probably be a good plot for anyone to contact the federal law enforcement agency and say i just want to introduce myself. that has come out a number of times here. as we go through this, i think one of the things people might ask is how was this paid for, what type of shifting did you use? i understand initially every firefighter on duty was at the event, and you backed with mutual aid companies. how long did that last and how did it change? >> that's true, all of our companies on duty that day responded that morning and we backfilled our stations with mutual aid and oklahoma city put reserve apparatus and service. host: how many firefighters are on shift? >> we have approximately 280, 290 folks on a shift.
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that pretty much stayed that way into the middle of the afternoon before we started releasing companies back to their stations. the overtime, the off-duty people coming in were released sometime toward the middle of the night. during the next 14 days, it was a blend. some days the activities were such that we did not need the off-duty and we simply would do it with on-duty rotating companies and mutual aid companies. and there were other days when there was a lot of activity and we would have to do call back of off-duty. host: what about police officers? was there still law enforcement protection in the city? all of your police officers did not respond to the emergency, there were still people covering their beats? >> absolutely. over 700 of our 1000 officers at one time or another work to the site, but we have an emergency response team of 120 officers that was the core group that provided perimeter control and protection.
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the rest of the officers pretty much stayed and worked normal areas and stops. probably one thing i would change is i would find a way to rotate them into the procedure. because for that 17 days, it was hard on them not to come to the site or be involved in any way. not only from our community, but our department, everybody wanted to have a hand and be part of it. it was extremely hard for them to stay out and do the routine stuff. host: certainly. what about ems? do you work eight hour shifts, 24? did you change the hours people worked? >> we have variable shifts but the experience was the same. the first 12 hours were the most critical, and the need decreased after 9:00 in the evening. we had a significant reduction in all other emergency calls. since our staff was adequate to take care of the rest of the
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city. host: paul, normally we don't think about public works as a 24 hour job unless you are water or light. what type of changes, your people were providing heavy equipment and what type of changes did you make with your staffing and how long did it last? paul: staffing and providing fencing and barricades, we placed those folks on 12 hour shifts. we are used to doing that because of the snow and ice patrols. they are very used to that. it wasn't a problem. one of the things we had to do is set up a small city because we had as many as 60 porter -- porta potty's moved in, 600 tons of garbage to haul out, and a lot of activities here. plus we still had people at city hall wanting billing permits and inspections and other things because we had a city to run as well. we split our crews up so we could do both. let's talk a little bit before we break about the urban
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search and rescue teams. fema has a relatively new initiative, the urban search and rescue teams were brought in and supported, helped out the community. tell me a little about how you interface with them and your reactions to that. >> they came in, we were notified the afternoon or first day that there were two teams in route, and they would determine how many additional teams were needed once they were on site. eventually we had 11 different teams. they rotated in and out. but they were very beneficial. what they bring into you, they bring 60 people per team. they don't necessarily bring a lot of personnel power, but they bring the equipment and level of training with them in these types of activities that cannot be matched anywhere. they bring you the civil engineers, the people who have dealt with disasters and so forth.
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that is really what they bring as a benefit. but they came into oklahoma city from the beginning simply to support us. they told us over and over again they were there to support us and fit into our incident command system and be used however we needed them to be used. it worked very well. questioner, last before we take a break. in terms of disaster supplies, one of the questions that dawned on me is most ems organizations have a cash of disaster supplies. cache of disaster supplies. was any of that used? peter: we had our own but we were inundated by supplies provided by hospitals and area organizations. we had an overabundance of medical supplies. it even posed a logistical problem itself. the sterility of disposables.
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host: thank you, gentlemen. now it is your turn to ask these panel of experts about the oklahoma city bombing experience. joining me for this interactive panel are the oklahoma city fire chief, the police chief, the medical director of emergency medical services, and the director of oklahoma city public works. i encourage you to call. as you move through this, i know you've all had a number of speaking engagements talking to different folks. what has been the reaction of people, your peers within law enforcement, fire and ems? sam, let's start with you. i know you have done a lot of presentations.
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what questions do you get? what do people want to know? sam: pretty much what we have talked about tonight. how they can expect and how to respond, the things they need to do, emergency plans they need to put into place. one of the keys we talk about is having a list of resources you can contact. we were fortunate that this happened at 9:00 in the morning and not 2:00 in the morning. some of the immediate read -- immediate responses we got from the community might not have occurred. but how to take care of the cars, the identification system, the feeding and housing of people. these are all issues they are concerned about should this occur in their jurisdiction. host: paul, what about you?
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public works don't really see themselves as emergency responders. paul: public works people i think see themselves as first responders because they know any time they know anytime i have a flood or fire, sometimes we are asked to knock walls down and assist the fire department. what i would recommend to my public works counterparts is they put together an emergency response team. groups of volunteers of 12 to 15 people they can depend on and they are given instructions to respond to a certain location in case of an emergency. we use the response team, we outfit them in special uniforms so that they are labeled when they get on-site and the police and fire department know who they are so they can respond and assist them with whatever they need. host: we have a caller on the line from oklahoma city. are you there? hello, oklahoma city. are you there? caller: my question is, the department heads went to an emi conference, and what i wanted to
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know is when they came back to oklahoma city, did they have any practice sessions or anything like that prior to this incident? host: chief? ,hy don't we start with you chief morris. >> we certainly had some discussions, certainly when you came back, one of the first things you talk about is revamping your emergency operation plan, looking at procedures you may have had sitting on the shelf. what you went through with emi and how to rely -- how to revise those. the emergency operating center in oklahoma city works under the police chief department head,
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and we sent the books out and said, let us revise them. that was in july. april of 1995 was not that much longer after that. host: sam? sam: we have several emergency drills. i hate to tell you but i am not sure on the timetable between july of 1994 and april of 1995. i feel like we had one, because we do them twice a year, primarily out of the airport. we did revise some of the things we do with our emergency response team and assisted them in responding better. host: we have a caller from cedar rapids, iowa. go ahead. caller: i have a room full of american red cross disaster services volunteers and we would like to know if we could talk a little bit about the different agencies that work more in the background and how we served this situation. and we certainly wish a glamis city and everybody the very -- and then we certainly wish oklahoma city and everybody the very best, and we are all praying for you. host: peter, let's start with you. peter: i am struck by that question, because as i was
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thinking about it, when i going talk what i am struck is this is not about a single agency. it is about a nation's response to disaster. a nation's and demonstration of faith. resolve and demonstration of faith. there were so many agencies behind us. we were doing a job and it was our duty to take care of patients and rescue people, but these individuals were volunteers and i was so struck by that. host: i've seen photographs of people giving back rubs to police and firefighters, people taking laundry home at night. normal folks who lived there taking the laundry home and doing their laundry. absolutely amazing. one of the stories i heard, i think one of the guys i talked to from new york city said the world trade center bombing, a cup of coffee cost three
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dollars, but you are getting free pizza in oklahoma city. >> the red cross and salvation army and volunteer groups where -- were not sitting in the background. they were in the forefront. i probably did not do a good enough job, but when i spoke about how the oklahoma standard was set by the volunteers, that was red cross and salvation army and those folks. certainly not in the background. one point you touched upon earlier i wanted to mention was how you dealt with the families and the people calling in and asking about family. the red cross energized one of their shelters early that morning. -- a church about two miles north of the site. they very quickly established handling of family members and victims. on site down there that morning, not only people who came up on
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site but people who might have called about family members were directed to the red cross center, and they handled that and it became the family center, and it was a very emotional site and stayed in place until all of the operations were ceased. that could not have happened without the preplanning and training and foresight of the red cross to do shelter operations and disaster planning. so a very big hats off to them. host: certainly all of those relief organizations deserve applause. we have another caller on the line from piedmont, oklahoma. go ahead. caller: what i would like to know is when oklahoma city went to general alarm, basically my main question is your mutual aid companies from across the state that came, you had to have people or firefighters from all around that responded to the scene, and you had to call other agencies to cover oklahoma city.
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i want to know what you guys felt as far as mutual aid from places that really did not get the call but came and offered assistance as far as emts on staff and like that. >> the people that came in not necessarily in our mutual aid networks, but the ones from the remaining part of the state in around the country, we had firefighters flying in from other states over the next few days. a tremendous response coming in. and certainly you are grateful for it and encouraged by it that they want to come in and help. it presented a problem logistically working with the people that come in like that, because it dawns on you all of a sudden that you have the responsibility and liability for those folks. we set up a mutual aid command post that all people who were not oklahoma city had to go check in through the mutual aid command post. those people burden the
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responsibility for checking out the firefighters coming in, that they had the training and so on. they came in from all over. they were certainly a big benefit that first morning when we needed all the hands we could get. host: peter said he had a lot of doctors and nurses. sam, did you get law enforcement officers also offer help? was it a problem? it was a problem initially, because everybody will agree in the first hour we got a lot more people in that building then we safely needed. a lot of the people did not have the expertise to be in the building. we certainly had a lot of police officers in our community that responded and wanted to help. a lot of off-duty police officers. we quickly set up our command post and command center and had all of the police officers go through them for assignments. a lot of them we sent home, told them to come back at 6:00.
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we ran them through the command center. host: in terms of emergency response and disaster preparedness, you touched on the integrated emergency preparedness program you went through. what outside organizations have you brought into that or are first up in terms of calling, like the red cross and salvation army. maybe the local phone company for the cell phones. sam: the companies that went with us, we took people from the hospital staff, our electric company, gas company. they all played a key role in assisting us in the community and being able to respond. i agree, this was a community response, it was not -- any need we had put out by the media, we were overflowed with goods of one kind or another. host: did you use the media at all in terms of not only to talk about the incident, but in form and say please stay away? these are the things you need to do if you're interested in
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donating, this is what you should do. did you use the media not only as a news organization, but to inform? peter: we had to be very careful with the media, because if we made a particular request, safer get 300 pairsld of $150 boot. -- boots. you had to be careful. at one point chief hansen had to inform the public that we had to stop the centralized food distribution. everybody was bringing food to the site, which became a health hazard to the rescuers. there was one task force, two thirds of the task force became ill with diarrhea. we believe it was from all of the food around the sites that had become contaminated. we had to be careful with the request and funnel them through the chain of command.
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host: be careful what you wish for. you might get it. paul, what about you? providing fuel, public works provides fuel trucks, taking care of nonemergent needs that emergency responders might have. anything you would change after what occurred? paul: i don't think so, as far as that is concerned. anytime we needed anything, we would be covered up with it. the fire department had indicated one night they needed temporary wiring to light up a parking garage, and so i went to the electric company and said can you help me on this issue and they said no. we have electricians but we don't have household type wiring in boxes and those types of things. it was a matter of a telephone call and that stuff was delivered to me. we put it in the hands of the electric company and they had it hooked up in a matter of hours. that's the way it was, anytime you needed something, you made a call to the proper people and just the fact that you need to know who to call.
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because it was there. host: you would not want to get out the phone book during a disaster. that's all we have time for right now. i want to thank all of you who have called in with questions. ♪ announcer: you can watch archival films on public affairs in their entirety on our weekly series, railamerica, saturday at 10:00 p.m. and sunday at 4:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv. reel america, saturday at 10:00 p.m. on sunday at 4:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv. ♪
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you are watching american history tv, covering history, c-span style with eyewitness accounts, archival films, lectures and college classrooms, and visits to museums and historic places. all weekend, every weekend, on c-span3. announcer: every saturday night, american history tv takes you to
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programming on american history every weekend on c-span3. although us on twitter for information on our schedule and to keep up with the latest history news. >> 25 years ago on april 19, 1995, a massive truck bomb exploded outside the alfred p murrah federal building in oklahoma city. killing 168 people including 19 children in daycare. in 2015, to mark the 20th anniversary of the bombing, the fbi recorded a series of interviews with special agents, investigators, a survivor, and others. next, on american history tv, seven of these oral histories as edited by the fbi. >> we were open until 5:00 every day. the credit union was a place
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everybody could go in there. the credit union and the snack bar. so we were constantly inundated with people coming into visit or drawing a little money for lunch or apply for a loan. everybody was at the credit union. i got there as early as i could that morning and i had my vacation pictures from the week before. i was going to share those with these gals. we did not get started on this meeting until about 8:20. i would turn around and look at my computer screen at the next item we were to discuss. i leaned back in my chair and


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