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MoCo Emergency Officials Tout Improvements

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Emergency officials in Montgomery County, Md. are touting the enhancements they have made since the 9/11 attacks ten years ago.

County fire chief Richard Bowers says training offered to firefighters has improved at all levels, but once they get on-scene, communications still present a problem that all jurisdictions have yet to fully fix.

"It's a shame that we have an astronaut that talk on the moon to Houston, and Houston talking to the astronaut on the moon, but we can't have a firefighter talk on the 8th floor of a building to someone on the front of the building without some sort of interruption," says Bowers.

Meanwhile, police leaders have focused on so-called "active shooter" incidents in the ten years since 9/11. That strategy paid off when much of the training allowed officers to deal safely with last year's hostage-taking at the Discovery building in Silver Spring. James Lee held three workers in the building's lobby before he was killed by a police sniper. The hostages were not hurt.

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