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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
August 30, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General
New Jersey State Police
- Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent
Office of Emergency Management
- Colonel Rick Fuentes, Director
- Major John Hunt, Deputy Director

 

Neal Buccino
609-882-2000 ext. 2738

 

State OEM Urges First Responders Not to Leave for Hurricane-Affected States Unless Formally Requested

Trenton, NJ – Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of New Jersey State Police and Director of the State Office of Emergency Management, today urged New Jersey first responders and other personnel not to depart for the states hit by Hurricane Katrina unless those personnel are officially mobilized by the State of New Jersey.

“New Jersey’s thousands of first responders and rescue personnel are extremely dedicated, and we know many are eager to rush down to the Gulf Coast to help those communities recover,” Fuentes said.

“We commend them for their willingness to help. But unless and until they are officially requested through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact and mobilized by the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, those personnel should remain where they are.”

The states affected by Katrina so far have not requested help from New Jersey, though the State Office of Emergency Management has identified personnel and rescue equipment that could leave for the Gulf states with two hours notification.

If those states do request New Jersey’s help via the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, the Office of Emergency Management will send those responders over in a uniformed and coordinated manner.

Fuentes pointed out that massive rescue efforts such as those now underway in the Gulf states can be harmed, rather than helped, when rescue workers try to help out without coordinating with the agencies in charge.

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