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    Congressman Gingrey visits 4th Civil Support Team

    Congressman Phil Gingrey visits 4th Civil Support Team

    Photo By Capt. Michael Thompson | Staff Sgt. David Rygmyr delivered an equipment brief to Rep. Phil Gingrey, Georgia's...... read more read more



    Story by 1st Lt. Michael Thompson 

    78th Homeland Response Force

    DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Marietta Ga., – Rep. Phil Gingrey, Georgia’s 11th district, visited the Georgia Army National Guard’s 4th Civil Support Team for an information brief on the unit’s capabilities. The 4th CST provides chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and low yield explosive expertise to local, state and federal agencies in the event of an emergency.

    “To see this unit’s capabilities is extremely impressive,” said Gingrey. “This unit as part of the Georgia Army National Guard is a signature unit that was made up over ten years ago. You are amazed at the local capability that they provide, not only to the state of Georgia, but to different regions throughout the United States.”

    The 4th CST remains in a constant state of readiness in preparation to respond to events in their region of coverage, which includes six states and two U.S. territories.

    Due to their specialized capability, the 4th CST recently responded Aug. 12, to an emergency event in Covington. Employees of PureTalk, an electronics refurbishing company, reported to Newton Medical Center’s emergency room with burning eyes and skin irritation. The 4th CST was mobilized along with other local and state agencies to assess the situation.

    “Just having the CST there was a benefit for the incident commander,” said Capt. Bert Thompson, 4th CST operations officer. “The expertise that our guys bring to that situation, their knowledge to the incident command system, is really helpful to our local responders.”

    Once on scene, the unit established a decontamination line and provided equipment to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Explosive, Ordinance and Disposal team to clear the ER of any potential explosives. After the ER was cleared, the Soldiers from the unit were able to obtain a sample of the substance and determine that it was battery acid. The 4th CST currently has the only mobile lab in Georgia and will soon be ISO certified.

    To be ready for these events the unit spends extensive hours training with local, state and federal agencies. The Cherokee County Hazardous Materials and Special Weapons and Tactics units conducted joint training with the 4th CST Aug. 24 to understand the different types of equipment on hand, the decontamination process and how to recognize hazards.

    “We do a lot of training with local responders on equipment, gear and situations like the one in Covington,” said Thompson. “So the benefit of having an organization like us in the Georgia National Guard is a great one.”

    The 4th CST is part of a larger unit, the 78th Homeland Response Force, which is expected to pass certification in November. The 78th HRF will provide additional command and control assets in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Region IV.

    “The next time I am at a Falcons game or a Georgia Tech game, or hopefully to see the Atlanta Braves in the playoffs this year, I will know that this unit and the Georgia National Guard has been there so that me and my family can safely enjoy the sporting activity,” said Gingrey.



    Date Taken: 08.31.2011
    Date Posted: 08.31.2011 18:51
    Story ID: 76251
    Location: MARIETTA, GA, US 

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