April 17, 2013

Officials urge Mainers to be alert after tragedy

The bombings in Boston serve as a reminder of the realities of living in a post-9/11 world, authorities say.

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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FOR MORE INFORMATION, visit our special section covering the Boston bombings.

“We can’t think of every possible scenario, but surely blast injuries associated with mass gatherings is something we always think about,” Frances said.

Portland hospitals exchange information with the Boston Medical Intelligence Center, not only about epidemiology, but threats to health care facilities, he said.

“The important thing to stress is in the post-9/11 world we live in, ... now we have an extremely tight-knit group of professionals sharing vital critical information very fast,” Frances said. “Just after this coordinated attack occurred, I was in contact with senior leaders from the state homeland security division and the director of our critical infrastructure protection program.”

Authorities say they are sharing intelligence and devising security measures better than they ever did, but their efforts are not foolproof.

“We’re vulnerable, no matter how you cut it,” said Googins. “I just don’t know at this point, as a police chief, what people would like to hear to make them feel better. I don’t feel better. I go to Boston all the time.”

Boston may be outside Maine, but so many people had friends at the marathon, and so many Mainers identify with Boston, the attacks feel very close to home.

“Crate and Barrel? My wife loves that place,” Googins said, referring to the popular store just a couple of doors down from one of the blast sites. “I’ve been in Boston twice in the past week, ... had lunch at the Copley Plaza,” which is near the marathon finish line.

Googins does draw some comfort from the absolute confidence he has that authorities will identify whoever is responsible.

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:



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