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FEMA awards valuable

| Thursday, May 2, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

FEMA awards valuable

Thank you for making the public aware of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Individual and Community Preparedness Awards in “The Thursday wrap” (April 25 and TribLIVE.com). However, I feel the Trib missed the mark.

The FEMA awards recognize outstanding individuals, organizations and municipalities that work to make our communities safer, stronger and better prepared for any disaster or emergency. One has only to look at events of the last few weeks — the Boston Marathon terrorist bombings, the West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion, and severe flooding in the Midwest — to understand what these awards represent. These devastating incidents caused tragic loss of life and property, caused a large metropolitan area to go into lockdown, and forced thousands to evacuate homes and businesses.

The awards are an opportunity to recognize the selfless actions not only of dedicated first responders, many of whom are volunteers, but of ordinary citizens who acted in the face of danger, helping those injured and coming to neighbors' aid.

At the Westmoreland County Department of Public Safety, we commend FEMA for bringing attention to these unsung heroes and hope these awards will encourage other citizens and communities to respond in kind.

Michael F. Brooker

Greensburg

The writer directs the Westmoreland County Department of Public Safety.

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