S.F. mayor attends firefighter training exercise

By Heather Knight
The San Francisco Chronicle (California)
Copyright 2006 The Chronicle Publishing Co.
All Rights Reserved

Mayor Gavin Newsom visited Treasure Island on Monday to observe a training exercise in which city firefighters practiced rescue techniques on a dummy trapped under a block of cement; the firefighters used new equipment purchased with Homeland Security grants.

Joined by Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White and Office of Emergency Services director Annemarie Conroy, Newsom stressed that San Francisco is becoming increasingly well prepared to deal with a terrorist attack, an earthquake or some other disaster.

Conroy was at the center of controversy in spring, when city Budget Analyst Harvey Rose released an audit critical of her department's disaster readiness and her administration of homeland security money.

Newsom called for another audit of the emergency services office in two years because he's sure it will show San Francisco is more ready for a disaster than most other cities in the nation. 

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