“The goal of a well-crafted disaster plan is to provide a framework for preconsidered action. Experience has shown that such a framework is necessary to ensure a well-coordinated response to a sudden mass-casualty event. Boston's health care providers reacted the way they did because they knew what they were supposed to do. Those who did not were smart enough to follow the lead of those who did. That's how a “ritualized” disaster plan works.”
Israel has had more than its share of mass casualty events, and the doctors agreed there is much to learn from their experience:
“In contrast to Israel, a country that has ample experience with terrorist bombings, too many U.S. hospitals treat disaster preparedness as an afterthought. We would be wise to emulate Israel's doctrine, which emphasizes the importance of national coordination, standard operating procedures, constant attention to surge capacity, the avoidance of emergency-department overcrowding, the distribution of casualties according to type and severity, and the frequent conducting of rigorous drills.4 Because Boston followed many of these principles, it mounted an effective response. Our goal must be to ensure that every U.S. city can do the same.”
A mass casualty event is just as likely to be “natural” as man-made. Flooding. Fires. Earthquakes. Severe weather Experts predict the overall probability of a 6.7 or larger earthquake striking the Bay Area in the next 30 years at 63 percent. Again, preparation is key.
Urban Shield aims to save lives. Coordinating first responders in a variety of role-playing scenarios, it is scheduled for Oakland October 25-28. From their website:
Urban Shield has grown into a comprehensive, full-scale regional preparedness exercise assessing the overall Bay Area UASI Region's response capabilities related to multi-discipline planning, policies, procedures, organization, equipment and training. Urban Shield continues to test regional integrated systems for prevention, protection, response and recovery in our high-threat, high-density urban area. The exercise evaluates our existing level of preparedness and capabilities, identifying not only what we do well, but areas in need of improvement. The previous years' After Action Reports are referenced and used to assist in prioritizing upcoming expenditures possible for the region so we may become more prepared for any type of critical event or incident in our area.
The diverse list of participants includes Children’s Hospital, Kaiser Hospital and Alta Bates. The Red Cross is involved, are local police, fire and EMT associations from ten different Bay area counties. The goal is preparedness training in the service of saving lives in the Bay area.
Who could possibly object?
A consortium of groups operating under the name "Facing Urban Shield' have organized in response, calling Urban Shield - "a trade show and training exercise for SWAT teams and police agencies" , claiming it "will bring local, national and international law enforcement agencies together with “defense industry contractors” to provide training and introduce new weapons to police and security companies". Facing Urban Shield dismisses the training programs as "war games" The list of groups participating includes the Tristan Anderson Campaign, Palestine Youth Movement, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network,Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism, Arab Resource and Organizing Center, and the Islamic Labor Caucus. See a pattern?Why would anti-Israel groups join together to protest a first responders training conference and trade show?
With the Middle East a tinderbox of instability, the Palestine-Firsters are faced with a stagnant movement to destroy the democratic state of Israel. They have prioritized building alliances as a way to grown their near moribund movement
From Lynn Gottleib, published at the JVP Rabbinic Council blog: (emphasis mine)
"Recently, Noura Khouri and I initiated the Facing Urban Shield Action Network in the Bay Area which is composed of over 20 organizations that address different aspects of the militarization of police. Urban Shield is the weapons trade show and training ground for police agencies from the US and around the world. The IDF is connected to Urban Shield. Protesting Urban Shield is an opportunity to link domestic and international struggles against occupation, incarceration and war and build the global movement for justice and peace."
What does this group have planned?
From their Facebook page (As of today, all of 2 people have committed to attending)
Expect a flash mob with a lame song and dance routine Expect a few miscreants attempting to disrupt the exhibit hall. Expect self-congratulatory youtubes and press releases on how successful they were. Expect more tales told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.