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Long Beach Fire Practices For A Terror Attack Response

By Jackawa Jackson | October 1, 2009

At 7:30 on the morning of October 1, 2009, units from The Long Beach Fire Department, in conjunction with LBPD, LA County Fire and other state and federal agencies, participated in a joint terrorism drill in the downtown marina.     The Scenario:  Long Beach Fire units were called to investigate smoke in the marina near Shoreline Village.  Once on scene, units determined there was a small device at the end of one of the gangways dispersing some type of radioactive material into the atmosphere. This led to a total of 9 people requiring rescue, decontamination and transport to local hospitals.  The long Beach Fire Department Hazardous Materials Team, assisted by LA County, and other government agencies began the task of isolating and identifying the radiological agent. Other fire units were called in to set up decontamination stations and patient treatment areas.  Law enforcement agencies were called in for security of the scene and investigation of the possible criminal release of the material.  Long Beach Fire and LBPD dive teams responded to search below the water’s surface as well.   Drills such as this help to streamline operations between The Long Beach Fire Department and the various agencies who would likely respond to an attack such as this.  Frequent realistic training exercises help crews to maintain a constant state of readiness and allow decisive and appropriate actions on scene to become second nature.

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