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Norwalk Fire Chief To Testify Before Storm Panel

HARTFORD, Conn. – Norwalk Fire Chief Denis McCarthy will be among a half-dozen fire and police officials making presentations Friday before a special task force appointed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to study how to better prepare for future weather disasters.

McCarthy, president of the Connecticut Fire Chiefs Association, and the other first responders will also be questioned by the eight-member Two-Storm Panel on what went wrong concerning emergency response during the October nor’easter and Hurricane Irene in August that caused record-setting power outages across the state.

“We want to know what went wrong, but also what went right regarding first responders such as police, fire and emergency personnel,” said the panel’s co-chairman, Joseph McGee, vice president of the Business Council of Fairfield County.

“There has been a lot of discussion about what needs to happen first during these storms – clearing of roads to reach people trapped in their homes or restoring power,” said McGee. “We want to hear from the police and fire experts who can put this in perspective as far as priorities.”

When the panel met Tuesday, it was told that emergency drills must be held across Connecticut for the power companies, state emergency personnel and police, fire and rescue crews to better prepare for future disasters.

The panel is charged by Malloy with reviewing the preparedness, response and recovery efforts of the state and its partners – including the utilities and municipalities – related to the two storms. The panel will start its hearing Friday at 9:30 a.m. in the Legislative Office Building.

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