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    Firefighters and National Guardsmen Work Toward the Same Goal

    Firefighters and National Guardsmen Work Toward the Same Goal

    Photo By Sgt. Jarod Dye | A soldier from the 11th Weapons of Mass Destruction- Civil Support Team from the Maine...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Jarod Dye 

    121st Public Affairs Detachment

    The 11th Weapons of Mass Destruction - Civil Support Team from the Maine Army National Guard trained in cooperation with the South Portland Fire Department, June 29, at the South Portland High School in order to mutually benefit and strengthen relationships between the two teams.
    The 11th WMD CST responds to any needs for defense against chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear attacks (CBRN). They conduct security sweeps for public events to make sure venues are safe but are also equipped to respond to events after they have happened.
    During the Thursday training the 11th WMD CST advised the fire department’s response operations and the two teams worked out all logistical issues they might have when responding to a real CBRN event.
    “The scenario that we’re going off is that there’s a graduation later today and they asked us to come down,” said Tech. Sgt. Lawrence Misiaszek, an Air National Guardsman attached to the 11th WMD CST. “We did area sweeps of the bleachers and the remote area that we might be in.”
    Misiaszek and his team, however, have not only conducted these operations in a training environment.
    “We do this in real life too,” said Misiaszek. “We’ve swept the Super Bowl, the hotel where the athletes were staying, as well as some other venues that were holding big public events that week.”
    Misiaszek has been on the 11th WMD CST for about six years now and stays involved in the continuing and evolving mission.
    “Our mission is definitely public safety. We’re here as an asset to be utilized by whatever agency is involved whether it is fire department, police department, or other first responders,” said Misiaszek. “So whatever it is we can come down, check it out and preserve safety for the public.”
    On the other side of the parking lot the fire department’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Hazardous Materials Team had their operations set up and were busily preparing for the day’s training.

    “We formed shortly after 9/11 like most WMD hazmat teams did,” said Phil McGouldrick a firefighter with the South Portland Fire Department. “We’re prepared to handle any incident from a gasoline spill to a propane tank explosion to a WMD event.”
    McGouldrick has been a fire fighter for a while and shared his knowledge on preparation.
    “Fortunately there are very few events, but we have to be prepared to handle them when and if they arise,” said McGouldrick. “We want to keep the community safe in all facets of what may occur.”
    The leadership of the 11th WMD CST has been working hard to make strong connections with many local agencies.
    “One of the most important things we do is work with local responders,” said Capt. Lane Wiggin, a communications officer with the 11th WMD CST. “South Portland, Portland is the biggest city in Maine so it’s important to have a good relationship with these particular two fire departments.”
    The teams together make up a lot of forces that could help resolve a much larger CBRN incident together.
    “As far as the local responders, they know what they’re doing,” said Wiggin. “Working with the South Portland and Portland Fire Departments is great.”



    Date Taken: 06.29.2017
    Date Posted: 06.30.2017 14:36
    Story ID: 239820
    Location: SOUTH PORTLAND, ME, ME, US
    Hometown: SOUTH PORTLAND, ME, US
    Hometown: WATERVILLE, ME, US

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