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Homeland Security comes to Joplin to help train... - KOAM TV 7

Homeland Security comes to Joplin to help train for biological and chemical attacks

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Nationally trained specialists came to Joplin to teach first responders how to react during a terrorist attack.  Several area agencies trained Wednesday with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to prepare for possible biological and chemical attacks.

First responding agencies always try and stay prepared for any situation and thanks to the Department of Homeland Security and Texas A&M, 18 of those agencies in our area are getting the chance to do exactly that.

They were at Freeman Heath Services to get ready to treat anything from exposure to chemical weapons, bombs, to something that hits a little closer to home.

"Meth labs - what happens in fires and explosions what we see even in our community, we're going to cover a whole gambit of events that can happen, the big ones, small ones, and one we hope never happen," says Skip Harper, the Environment and Safety Officer for Freeman.

The national trained professionals provided lectures, real life simulations, and had participants assess robotic patients to see what they have been exposed to and how to treat it.

"That they are able to protect themselves, and their patients, and maybe take this training back to others who couldn't attend, and promote getting more education, becoming more prepared for what every type of disaster we have coming," says Harper.

From breathing, seizing, even vomiting, the real life simulators do it all. and participants say that makes all the difference when it comes to training.

"Just like the difference between reading a book about what it might be like outside and then actually going outside, it gives you that realistic feel and feedback, of what's actually happening with a live patient without it actually being a live patient," says Mike Ross, the Director of the Freeman Ambulance Service.

Participants hope to walk away with knowledge on a variety of methods to assess, decontaminate, treat and stabilize during attacks.

Organizers say there is no warning for disasters caused by man, but that these exercises will help our area be prepared for a terrorist attack.

The training will continue at the Freeman Business Center on Thursday.

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