Post-9/11 emergency response much improved in Bristol County & SouthCoast

An article in the recent Fall River Herald News asserts that in the decade since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a heightened sense of security has emerged and that has resulted in the formation of the Department of Homeland Security and from that new tools and grant funding for municipalities to prepare in the event of new attacks.

Furthermore, the writer asserts that while the SouthCoast, in particular, has seen new emergency equipment provided, that the biggest change has been in ensuring the area is properly protected through an increased cooperation throughout municipal leaders and the security field.

“I’ve often said that Massachusetts started out as a bunch of colonies and didn’t get far from that, but there’s been great progress in that area with the public safety disciplines,” Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson said. “I think that relationships have been much stronger. Fire departments are much closer with us now, and we in the past haven’t had much to do with fire matters.”

Hodgson said that since 9/11, the goal has shifted from each town trying to acquire materials to instead making sure the items are available on a regional scale.

“Over time, particularly after 9/11, all agencies realized we needed to do better,” Hodgson said. “Now we’re seeing a lot more reaching out to one another, looking to get resources as a joint effort.”

Hodgson said those regular meetings will result in a better response if an emergency occurs.

“This ensures that everyone is strategically placed to respond to an emergency so that we don’t have a lot of duplication,” Hodgson said


(Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson standing in front of the Incident Command Center at the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office)

(Deputy Arthur Calheta of the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office looks on while Lt. John Hebb mans the radio in the Incident Command Center)

Both photos courtsey of Dave Souza, Herald News

About Brock N. Cordeiro