War on Terrorism

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wisconsin Guard helps train civilian emergency responders

Date: June 29, 2010
By Sgt. Michelle Gonzalez
Wisconsin National Guard

About 120 personnel from more than 20 law enforcement agencies enhanced their awareness of weapons of mass destruction and learned about the resources available to respond to scenarios at a WMD Special Weapons and Tactics training event at Volk Field June 16.

The two-day training, spearheaded by the Madison-based 54th Civil Support Team, Wisconsin National Guard, ranged from briefings and equipment displays to hands-on training and tactical demonstrations at the Regional Emergency All-Climate Training Center and High Risk Entry Facility areas.

"[The training] not only presented situational problems that have interagency solutions, but it also presented cutting edge situations that we will have to address in months and years to come," said Thomas Krsnich, a special investigator supervisor with Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources Environmental Crimes Unit.

The local, state and federal response agencies from Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois also learned about types of chemical, biological and explosive hazards, personal protective gear and the resources that are available to law enforcement agencies.

"I learned of a lot of resources that are available to us in case we do have to respond to calls," said Larry Ostermeier, deputy sheriff for the Kewaunee Sheriff Department. "I thought the decontamination equipment was used one time. It turns out that most of it can be reused."

The 54th Civil Support Team is Wisconsin's full-time response team for emergencies or terrorist events that involve weapons of mass destruction or toxic industrial chemicals.

With the ability to rapidly deploy, the 54th provides initial advice on what an agent may be, assists local first-responders in determining the nature of an attack, provides medical and technical advice, and paves the way for the identification and arrival of follow-on state and federal military response assets.

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