Local Responders Simulate Terrorist Attack

POSTED: 05:14 AM MDT Oct 28, 2011    UPDATED: 07:08 AM MDT Oct 28, 2011 
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

Rest assured if a terrorist attack were to take place in eastern Idaho, first responders are prepared.

Local response teams got to take part in a simulated biological attack in Idaho Falls Friday with the Idaho and Montana National Guard.

You may think a terrorist attack in Idaho Falls is not very likely, but first responders are preparing for one if it does happen.

The Idaho and Montana National Guard's Civil Support Teams assisted the Northeast Idaho response Team.

Here's the drill situation; a bio weapon known as ricin is found inside the Tautphaus Park ice rink. The 83rd Civil Support Team is sent in to collect samples which leads them to a suspect.

"With the intelligence we created we found this is his residence, which is a vacant home,? said Captain John Lund of the Idaho Falls Fire Department.

The 101st CST is sent to the suspect's house.

"We have three from the local response team and three from the civil support team down range at this time,? said Maj. Britt Vanshur of the 101st CST.

The team collects photos and pieces of evidence inside the home.

Once they come out though they have to simulate the decontamination process.

Once cleaned, the samples are then taken to the lab truck and analyzed.

"So we will grab that sample and and do a presumptive analysis in our lab so we can brief the incident commander on what to do with this house do we have to evacuate certain city blocks that kind of thing," Vanshur said.

They want to make the situation as real as possible.

It may only be a simulation but it gives first responders the experience they need.

"We try to train with each other annually to ensure that if something unknown like this happens whether its a chemical, biological or radiological incident that the regional response team and civil support team can work together to protect the citizens of Idaho," Vanshur said.

And officers report the local team handled it well.

"The team is more than capable and the local first responders were phenomenal," 83rd CST First Sgt. Cary Monbarren said.

There are 57 weapons of mass destruction CST's across the country with at least one in every state.