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  • Dirty Bomb Drill

    GAITHERSBURG, Md. (AP) - With some experts warning that a
    terrorist attack using weapons of mass destruction is inevitable,
    public safety personnel around the nation's capital are stepping up
    their training.
    Hundreds of them from four Maryland counties, as well as rescue
    experts from Fairfax County, Va., came together Tuesday for a drill
    simulating a dirty bomb attack at a crowded auto show. The drill
    was conducted at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Gaithersburg,
    Md., about 35 miles northwest of Washington, D.C.
    Fire departments throughout the Washington area are now treating
    any unusual explosion as though it might be a dirty bomb containing
    toxic chemicals or radiological components. The drill was designed
    to help responders hone the skills they would use if such a weapon
    is ever used.
    "It's important that we train for these types of events because
    with the threat level swinging back and forth something like this
    could happen at any time," said Montgomery Fire Chief Tom W. Carr.
    The drill began with the release of a presumably toxic cloud,
    followed by two subsequent explosions which sparked fires.
    Civilians made up to appear as thought they had suffered from blast
    and burn injuries could be seen laying on the ground in a field
    behind a shopping center. Adding to the drama was a very real - and
    unexpected - car fire.
    Evaluators from federal, state and local public safety agencies
    and military agencies walked amid the feigned chaos, observing the
    performance of those involved. Montgomery County Police also
    mobilized some officers to respond to ongoing threats included in
    the scenario.
    "An anonymous caller called our 911 center and said there would
    be another attack while this was going on," police spokesman Capt.
    John M. Fitzgerald said of the drill, which was monitored by
    jurisdictions from throughout the region.
    "This type of attack would undoubtedly prompt a "Code Red"
    alert throughout the region and perhaps nationally," Fitzgerald
    said.
    The drill is the latest in a series of exercises being held
    across the nation. The District of Columbia government is planning
    a similar exercise this summer.
    "These drills remind us that things can get very bad, very
    quickly, they keep us from getting complacent," said Cpl. Rob
    Moroney, a spokesman for the Maryland State Police.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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