Iowa’s Homeland Security professionals spent this week training teams of fire, police, health and public-works professionals in how to step in at a disaster zone. Part of it is readiness for expected damage from the newest hurricane, but Jerry Ostendorf in Iowa’s Department of Emergency Management says a lot of the work’s based on lessons learned from 9-11. It’s made many first-responders, and organizations from county to state emergency-management offices, understand they’re all a team. “We all have our roles and we need to clearly identify where we fit in that…response.” Ostendorf says local experts are being trained in how to work together by some of the nation’s best, and most experienced, emergency workers.He says they can respond better now incident-management teams have been trained by professionals like instructors from the national fire institute in Maryland and an instructor from the N-Y-C fire department. Ostendorf says the experience they gained on September 11, 2001, and in other events has helped expand horizons for the Iowa team preparing to respond to emergencies that may be local, regional, or somewhere across the country.
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