Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Competent Person Appointed FEMA Deputy Administrator

Why is this news? Shouldn’t that be the norm?

Well, remember “Heck of a job Brownie” and the failed levees flooding most of New Orleans? (See photo at right to refresh your memory.) FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Administrator Michael D. Brown’s “qualifications” included judging Arabian horses. No real understanding of the work of first responders or what emergency preparedness means. FEMA’s response was slow as thousands were left homeless.

Contrast that with Richard Serino, now the Deputy Administrator of FEMA whose background includes 36 years with Boston Emergency Medical Services (EMS), much of the time as the EMS chief. Here’s someone who has an intimate knowledge of the work of first responders. Someone who knows what it takes to be prepared for any type of emergency, even when one least expects it.

So, what about that Pres. Obama, appointing competent professionals to important government posts!

I’m an engineer, and in my profession, you can’t make if you’re incompetent. Engineers can quickly tell who knows what they’re doing and who doesn’t. Unlike politics and business, where a smile, a strong personality and always having something to say can make up for competence, in engineering, you can’t fool the laws of nature! So, I have a problem with any politician who appoints incompetent cronies.

So, I’m delighted to see competent individuals, like Richard Serino, appointed to important posts.

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