FIREFIGHTERS' MASKS CAN'T STOP GASThe gas masks used by almost every fire department in the country can't keep chemical agents like sarin and mustard gas from getting in. Many firefighters have no idea their equipment is deficient, according to CBS News.
When he received the report (of the masks' shortcomings), the chief of the Arlington Virginia Fire Department, Ed Plaugher, says he was, "devastated - literally devastated."Plaugher led the Sept. 11 response at the Pentagon. Even though his rescue teams presumed there might be poison gas, they rushed in anyway, certain their gear would protect them. That confidence is gone."The failure of the test is a very, very big deal for us, because it means we have to re-evaluate and re-ramp the way that we attack an incident like this," says Plaugher.What he means is delay. Today, if the alarm rings and a gas attack is suspected, the Arlington teams will not rush in.