Get a Life

By Judith Welles

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Get a Life!: Keeping an eye on California fires

The wildfires in Southern California show two faces of the federal government. Countless federal employees are among those evacuated and hoping their homes are saved while many other federal employees have mobilized to help. As is often the case in catastrophes, there will likely be some federal workers in the affected counties who will forgo their personal situations to carry out jobs needed in emergencies such as this. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Defense Department employees in the affected area include nearly 300,000 servicemen and women, civilian employees and their families. The Office of Personnel Management posted information on the flexibilities for leave, pay and even telework that managers and employees can use in emergency situations. Meanwhile, FEMA’s Web site listed all of the assistance being provided in California by federal agencies working alongside state agencies. In addition to FEMA and DOD, they include the National Guard Bureau, Transportation Department, Forest Service, General Services Administration, Health and Human Services Department, Environmental Protection Agency, Homeland Security Department and Coast Guard. It’s a massive effort and one of those times when some workers, such as firefighters, just aren’t paid enough. But we can be thankful that there are those in public service who give their all to serve others, especially in times of great need.

Posted by Judith Welles on Oct 24, 2007 at 12:13 PM


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