Letter of the day: Even in high school, Rocco
I first met Rocco
Forte in 1969 when I was a high-school junior in north Minneapolis.He
was a senior and a close, mentoring friend.We double dated at the school dances, and Rocco
often led the dance lines.
often told us he
was going to become a fireman someday, and he
did.In fact, in 1998 Rocco became Minneapolis fire chief!In 2004 he became the city's emergency preparedness chief, and now Minneapolis is one of only six major urban areas to receive Homeland Security's highest marks for readiness.
After 9/11 and Katrina, can anyone imagine any major city really being adequately prepared for an unlikely major disaster?The day the Interstate 35W bridge collapsed into the Mississippi River, Rocco
is largely responsible for having the right equipment on hand, the necessary trained staff, and for implementing the right plan.We never saw him interviewed on television because he
was spending 18-hour days directing the command center.I read in the news he
received a 28-second standing ovation led by Mayor Rybak of Minneapolis
.My hat goes off to Rocco