Thursday, April 29, 2010

Public Safety Director Huss Subpoenaed

Pittsburgh Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, who chairs the Task Force on Emergency Operations and Snow Preparedness, says she has stopped inviting Public Safety Director Michael Huss to testify before she's demanding he do so. Rudiak says after 7 invitations over the course of a month to interview Huss have gone unanswered, she subpoenaed him to appear before council May 10th.
“This subpoena is not a reflection on the uniformed men and woman who worked very hard during the snow storm. Police, Fire, EMS, Public Works, and our committed municipal employees worked very long hours, under dangerous circumstances, during those two weeks. We need to focus on the management of this emergency, and use the lessons learned to improve future emergency operations so we can keep our employees and residents safe.”

Rudiak's task force is investigating the city's response to the snowstorms in early February and discover what changes are necessary to improve the steps taken in future storms. She says the task force needs information on prepared the Public safety Department was prepared, the equipment and vehicles that were available and the activation of the Emergency Operations Center.
Rudiak says they've received more than 200 formal public comments through a hearing and online and other administration officials have testified.
She says this must be a collaborative effort....“One of the biggest problems during the snow storm was a lack of communication and coordination between government offices. If we can't communicate about an emergency, how can we be expected to communicate during an emergency?”
Rudiak says she had hoped to issue a final report in early May but that will now be delayed.

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