Fire Fighters Hear from Eleven Presidential Hopefuls
IAFF 2008 Presidential Forum -- March 14, 2007   ...Next >
March 14, 2007--Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) addressed the IAFF 2008 Presidential Forum.  
Speech notes.  Sen. McCain opened strongly, telling several jokes.  He also recounted the Forrestal incident.  In 1967, on board the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Forrestal, a rocket was accidentally fired and hit the plane McCain was in, starting a fire which cost 134 lives.  

After this opening, however, McCain went into a fairly flat speech on Iraq, reading in an almost prefunctory matter from a prepared text.  [prepared remarks]

Towards the close, McCain did speak very forcefully on the communications failings during 9/11 and Katrina. 

"The cause of this failure was not the first responders' fault.  It was the fault of the federal government for not providing fire fighters, police and other first responders with the necessary radio spectrum to enable them to communicate effectively with one another.  

"The same situation occured during the disaster of Hurricane Katrina.  Phone lines, cell towers and electrical systems were destroyed by Katrina and caused a devastating breakdown in communication between first responders.  Many emergency officials had to rely on runners to carry information and instructions to other first responders.

"This is intolerable.  

"Some of us in Congress have tried for several years to provide unused spectrum to police, fire fighters and other emergency officials, without, I am sorry to report, I am sorry to report, without success."

Former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC)
Former Gov. Jim Gilmore (R-VA)
Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL)
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA)
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY)
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT)
Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS)
Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM)
Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE)
Presidential Forum Survey

Copyright © 2006  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action