HFD and Missouri National Guard team up to train for terrorist attacks

First responders in Hannibal are training with the Missouri National Guard to make sure they’re ready if a terrorist attack happens in the Tri-States.

"In a situation where their capabilities are exhausted we can come in and provide some technical expertise in identifying hazardous material," said Major Lindsey Decker with the 7th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team, who teamed up with the Hannibal Fire Department to simulate removing chemical weapons from a residential home Thursday.

"It’s important when you arrive on a scene this technical and this difficult that you have a relationship," said Decker, "that they understand what capabilities we bring so they know what type of incident would be a good idea for us to come help them out."

Decker said the Missouri National Guard responds 5 to 6 times a year to real world situations like this.

HFD Officials said while situations like this in real life are rare, this training helps them stay prepared.

"To train with our different monitoring equipment, to deal with putting on the suits, making entry, communications," said Trainer Officer John Baker, "there’s many different components that make up a hazardous material response."

Decker said it also helps give locals peace of mind.

"They know when something like this were to happen, that they would be ready for it," said Decker, "and so they should feel safer and more confident that they have this ability to protect them."

"We’re just really thankful the 7th CST Missouri National Guard is able to come up and assist us with this," said Baker, "and anytime you can train with another department it just makes our response that much better."

The Missouri National Guard does 12 exercises with local first responders like this a year according to officials.

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