As police and firefighter numbers fall, officials urge prep

By JAKE GOODRICK, BRIGETTE WALTERMIRE, NATALIE ANDERSON and CHRISTIAN GRAVIUS CARSON (AP) — With natural disasters increasing in frequency and intensity, first responders are finding it more difficult to reach and rescue the thousands of victims of floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires. Throughout the country, many emergency units have fewer people to navigate disaster response, meaning they have to do more with less. "So even if you were the slickest agency in the world, and you dealt with disasters all the time ... if you train every day, a disaster is still called a disaster for a reason," said Amy Donahue, a professor in the department of public policy at the University of Connecticut. "Even if you devoted all of your resources to these rare events, you still would find your
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