R. David Paulison

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R. David Paulison, of Florida, was nominated April 6, 2006, by President George W. Bush to be Under Secretary for Federal Emergency Management at the Department of Homeland Security. This position was previously titled Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response. Paulison replaces Michael D. Brown, who resigned September 12, 2005, "'in the best interest of the agency and best interest of the president,' three days after losing his onsite command of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort." [1]

According to the April 6, 2006, White House news release, Paulison "currently serves as Acting Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response at the Department of Homeland Security. Prior to this, he served as Administrator of the United States Fire Administration. During this time, he was also Director for Preparedness within the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He previously served as Fire Chief for the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department, where he began his career as a rescue fire-fighter in 1971. Mr. Paulison received his bachelor's degree from Florida Atlantic University."

On September 12, 2005, Paulison was appointed by President Bush as the FEMA's Acting Director. Paulison was then FEMA's U.S. Fire Administrator, "a top agency official with three decades of firefighting experience." [2]

"Duct Tape" Man

"In another gesture symbolizing the continued confusion of the federal response, the man President Bush immediately named to succeed 'Brownie,' proves to have been the same FEMA official who, two-and-a-half years ago, suggested that Americans stock up on duct tape to protect against a biological or chemical terrorist attack," Keith Olbermann wrote September 12, 2005. "That set off a run on duct tape at stores, and widespread criticism of the administration. It might have been the first time after 9/11 that a large number of Americans wondered if the government really knew what it was talking about when it came to disaster preparedness."

"Paulison brings an extensive resume to the post," Olbermann wrote. "He ran fire operations for Miami-Dade County in Florida, and was past president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. But in light of the response to this hurricane, another comment he made at the time of the Duct Tape announcements rings especially loudly. Paulison said in February, 2003, that in the first 48 to 72 hours of an emergency, many Americans would likely have to look after themselves."

Related SourceWatch Resources: Hurricane Katrina: List of related pages

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