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Legacy, vigilance and cohesiveness

Why technology is the key to avoiding the next 9/11 and MCI preparedness

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This episode of the Inside EMS podcast is sponsored by Verizon Frontline. The advanced network for first responders on the front lines. Learn more at

“To remember those who have sacrificed, and who ran up the stairs and escorted people in the eyes of danger, you owe it to them to try to be your best every day.” — Aaron Zamzow

In this special crossover episode of the Policing Matters, Better Every Shift and Inside EMS podcasts, Cohosts Jim Dudley, Aaron Zamzow and Chris Cebollero come together to discuss preserving the legacy of 9/11 responders and to assess our readiness to respond to a large-scale MCI in our communities.

Together, they dive into technology trends that we could (and should!) use to improve the security of citizens and first responders, from license plate readers to crime mapping, facial recognition, drone surveillance and AI analysis.

Tune in as our panel discusses:

  • Keeping the 9/11 legacy alive with new generations
  • How awareness of occupational cancer and mental health concerns is more prevalent today
  • Community preparedness and incident command
  • 9/11-related illness and its continued impact and devastation today
  • How AI can contribute to the security of citizens and first responders
  • The importance of information sharing and security

Memorable quotes

Our cohosts shared poignant reflections of the infamous September day and offered their analysis on how best to prepare first responders for large-scale mass casualty events, with several notable takeaways:

“It’s up to all of us to try to get better, try to improve, try to do something to hone our profession to provide the best service we can when we’re called to do that. And that doesn’t require a chief, that doesn’t require leadership; that requires a mirror, and that requires you and some dedication.” — Aaron Zamzow

“After 9/11, we had PPE in the trunk of every radio car, and training every year, and little-by-little, the suits expired, the training stopped, the funds ran out; and we may be at a situation worse than before, so we need that impetus to take another run at preparedness, training, exercises, PPE, equipment, and a best practices manual, and that’s got to come from above so that we’re all doing it the same.” — Jim Dudley

“The economic factor should not be a factor. FEMA puts out 100, 200, 700, 800 for free to law enforcement agencies and many more subsets beyond that. So if you are an agency – if you’re listening to this podcast – if you’re not practicing ICS, find out why and explain to your chief sheriff, ‘it’s free, we’ve got to do it; we should start doing it now.” — Jim Dudley

“We’re not working for today – we’re working for the next 5 and 10 and 15 years now – and how do we need to prepare for this?” — Chris Cebollero

“We saw firefighters run into that building – there were police officers there too – that were in harm’s way, trying to get people out of there, and that’s what we do, and now we’re seeing ‘hey, even though we do that, there are harms beyond just that physical incident.’” — Aaron Zamzow

“We’re in protective service and we need to be proactive in the way that we look at these things … we looked and said this could never happen; well it did, and we did a heck of a job responding after the fact, and we were very proactive after a period of time, and I think that’s gotten a little bit lax and we need to stay on our toes, stay vigilant, and I think that’s one of the best ways to remember all those people sacrificed in these events, is to grow from them.” — Aaron Zamzow

Additional resources

Read more reflections, tips for processing and lessons for training to respond to MCIs in our 9/11 coverage, sponsored by Verizon.

Learn more with these resources mentioned in this episode, as well as additional articles from Police1, FireRescue1 and EMS1:

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