Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Drum roll please...

We have a new FEMA director:

WASHINGTON - President Bush has tapped a federal official with three decades of firefighting experience and a background in emergency management to be the new face of his administration's response to Hurricane Katrina and future natural disasters.

Bush on Monday said he would name Miami native R. David Paulison as acting director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, replacing Mike Brown. Brown resigned Monday after days of criticism over what some said was a slow and ineffective response to Hurricane Katrina's devastation.

Since December 2001, Paulison has led the U.S. Fire Administration, a division of FEMA and the Homeland Security Department that works to reduce life and economic losses caused by fire.

Paulison led FEMA's emergency preparedness force from 2003-2004.

Before joining the agency, Paulison was chief of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department, where he oversaw 1,900 personnel and a $200 million operating budget, according to a biography posted on FEMA's Web site. He also oversaw the Dade County Emergency Management Office.

Paulison started as a rescue firefighter, before rising through the ranks to become fire chief. He was among the emergency workers who responded to Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and the crash of ValuJet Flight 592 in the Florida Everglades in 1996. He also is a certified paramedic.

So will this appease the critics on the Democrat side? Not hardly. Brown was an easy target because people on both sides were not pleased with his performance. But now the sharks have tasted blood, and their plan is to gobble as many fish as they can until they reach the big fish.

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