Sunday, July 18, 2004

Ready For Nothing


War ? What war ?

Emergency services said they will review how they reacted to a simulated chemical attack in the West Midlands.

The mock terror alert at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre saw 400 volunteer "casualties" being dealt with by police, fire and ambulance crews.

But it took the crews nearly three hours to set up "decontamination" units to deal with those casualties 

So, after nearly three years of war, home defense is still a shambles. Of course, there's a limit to how well prepared anyone can be for this kind of attack, but this is a disgrace. Yes, exercises should be hard - ruthless, even - but there is no evidence that this was any kind of Kobayashi Maru type situation. The emergency services appear to have failed to deal even with a Mark 1 Mod 0 type scenario - so who's going to be fired ? If cops can be given the old heave ho for telling naughty jokes then total incompetence ought to be a sacking offence. The fact that it isn't shows exactly how utterly the government has failed to adopt to the demands of war. 

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