Tony Hughes
Robert Burke, far right, gives training to local first responders during terrorism training in Hawthorne Oct. 13 and 14.

In Biblical times a story is told about a certain man who was traveling from one city to another and was attacked by a group of robbers who robbed him, beat him and left him at the side of the road to die. A man came by and responded to his needs and took the injured man in for medical treatment. Throughout the history of the earth several terrorist incidents have occurred where first responders have responded to these attacks, namely the attack on the World Trading Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. on 911 and more recently the mass destruction at a musical concert in Las Vegas on Oct. 1 that killed several people and injured more than one hundred.

First responders are not just born, they are dedicated police officers, firefighters medical staff and emergency individuals who have been trained to counteract, protect and assist the safety of the public in time of need. This is happening all over the world and will continue to occur.

Robert Burke, Contributing Editor of Hazmat Studies for Firehouse from Fairmont, Nebraska conducted a two day training course on Emergency Response to Terrorism: Strategic and Tactical Considerations for Supervisors, on Oct. 13 and 14 in Hawthorne. First responders from Mineral County and neighboring counties were in attendance.

During this course of study those in attendance received training with personal and group exercises on different aspects of terrorism and natural disasters. The course is a part of the training of the U. S. Fire Administration, a component of the U. S. Department Homeland Security and the National Fire Academy.

Those attending the course received directions that are needed for supervisors responding to any type of terrorist action. This specialized training will help those directing first responders in the fields of: defining and recognizing terrorism/weapons of mass destruction, the effects of chemical, biological, nuclear, incendiary and radiation; strategies and tactical options of emergency response; multiagency response; intelligence and planning and securing documentation and evidence issues. Patrick Hughes, Mineral County Emergency Management Director stated, “I was disappointed of the attendance of Mineral County first responders. The course was offered especially for them and they did not take advantage of it.”

Some statements made in the training were: terrorism is here to stay, First Responders must be prepared and terrorism is designed to make people afraid.

This course was sponsored by the Mineral County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) and Emergency Management.