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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Menlo fire district seeks companies' help Menlo fire district seeks companies' help (September 19, 2001)

Expertise in logistics, purchasing tops rescuers' needs list

by Pam Sturner

Local companies have a key role to play in the rescue efforts in New York and Washington, says Peter F. Carpenter, a director of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District.

Seeking to capitalize on the skills and resources that so rapidly created the Internet boom, Carpenter hopes to enlist local companies' help in coordinating what may be months of salvage operations following the nation's worst catastrophe.

He is appealing for assistance with logistics and purchasing, areas where he believes companies' expertise and relationships with vendors would prove invaluable.

"We need people who are industry expediters and don't get flapped by doing things on the fly," Carpenter said.

As an example of the logistical questions that have arisen, he cited the need for unexpectedly large numbers of gloves: rescue workers at the World Trade Center site go through two pairs per shift per person, a much higher rate than what was required in Oklahoma City.

Solving such problems will figure centrally in equipping the many teams that will conduct the recovery efforts in the coming months. "As we send a team out the door, we will need to prepare another team. That is very unusual, " Carpenter said.

Carpenter's appeal to companies has already yielded volunteers. Intel has sent Rick Reed, an employee who was the head of the Santa Clara County Office of Emergency Services. New York City-based publisher Random House has "adopted" Task Force 3, the search-and-rescue team to which the Menlo Park unit belongs, to take care of unanticipated needs as they arise.

In addition, Mike McGraw of McGraw Insurance in Menlo Park has loaned his private jet to transport emergency personnel.

Companies wishing to help with logistics can contact Rick Reed at (408) 219-8621 or Peter Carpenter at (650) 323-1162, (650) 678-4874 or


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