On Friday, the FDNY and NYPD pulled off a dramatic rescue after three window washers were suddenly clinging to life on scaffolding that broke outside a building, 15 stories above 65th Street street. Except it turns out that the 10 minute rescue wasn't exactly pulled off in simpatico: police and firefighters launched separate rescue efforts concurrently, and have been trading barbs about it ever since.
Emergency Service Unit Detectives James Coll rappelled down the side of the building to the workers while a colleague monitored him from the roof. At the same time, firefighters entered a 17th-floor apartment to rescue the men through the windows. In the end, both were necessary to rescuing the workers. But FDNY Battalion Chief Michael Massucci argued in the press that Coll took an unnecessary risk: “I didn’t see the need for him to put himself in harm’s way...The city protocol is that FDNY has all life, safety and rescue operations." Coll retorted: “Well, we’re trained to do this. We have some of the best training and the best equipment to do this.”
Glenn P. Corbett, an associate professor of fire science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told the Times that the lack of coordination was ridiculous: “This is an ongoing issue that’s been around for a long time, and I think the real critical part is that we were told, several years ago, that the citywide incident management system fixed this, and it did not fix it,” he said. “This was an issue on 9/11, with separate command posts for the Police and Fire Departments, and there continue to be instances where coordination is missing now.” Such as the 911 response system.