Officials of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency have announced that the employee who sent a false missile alert to over one million people has been fired.
According to the Tuesday report, the emergency worker had a history of questionable behavior over his 10-year employment at the agency. The investigation was conducted by Brig. Gen. Bruce E. Oliveira, who issued the report on behalf of the agency.
In his report, Oliveira claims that the worker was unable to take initiative and waited for his superiors to give him directions, More so, the worker found it increasingly difficult to discern between real-life events and drills, having failed to do so on two separate occasions.
The employee’s co-workers have also shared their experience with the man stating that they felt uncomfortable working with him as “ supervisor, two-man team, or as a part of the (State Warning Point) in general”.
“…they felt he was not capable of doing his job,” Oliveira said during a press conference on Tuesday.
Such questionable work ethic prompted reporters to ask why the man hadn’t been fire before issuing the false missile alert. Maj. Gen. Joe Logan, director of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, said that the worker’s supervisor thought he had counseled and mentored him appropriately to abstain from making other poor decisions. Logan added that Maj. Gen. Vern Miyagi resigned Tuesday from his position as administrator of the agency following the incident.
In addition to the worker’s firing, another employee had resigned before any disciplinary action was taken and another worker face suspension without pay, according to Logan.
Hawaii was on full alert after the unnamed worker had sent a public safety alert after mishearing a message that was part of an unscheduled drill.
The drill involved a night shift supervisor pretending to be US Pacific Command and issued an emergency alert of an incoming nuclear attack to all emergency workers who were on shift. While the recording included the phrase “exercise, exercise, exercise”, it also announced that it was not a drill, something that prompted the worker to pass on the broadcast to 1 million people. The reports state that the recording did not follow usual protocols contained in the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency’s standard operating procedure.
More than 1 million people were suddenly looking for shelter or calling their loved ones after the alert hit appeared on their cellphones. It took approximately 40 minutes for the state’s emergency agency to issue a second alert notifying people of the false alarm.
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