First responders hold terrorism readiness workshop in Beaufort County
BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) -
First responders in Beaufort County are working together to be ready in the event of a terror attack.
On Wednesday, the many fire departments across the county joined forces with the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office in a terrorism readiness workshop.
“This is an exercise to get familiar with one another as agencies, to work together in the event there is a major incident, a terrorist incident. We need to be prepared. And that's what we're doing out here. What again, it creates familiarity among the agencies and a cooperative effort,” said Beaufort County Sheriff's Office Captain Bob Bromage.
"Everything that we would do if we were responding to an actual event. We all practice a lot on our own, but this is a chance for all of the team players to come in and do a drill together, " said Hilton Head Island Fire Marshal Joheida Fister.
The drills were simulations of several suspected terrorist scenarios. They practiced active shooter and hostage situations for SWAT and bomb squad teams. They also focused on deadly chemical weapons and practiced chlorine leaks with the county's hazmat team.
“They’re easily, readily available and they can be used as such. So something very basic can turn into a very complicated incident. And the hazmat team has to be prepared for that," said Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue Captain Dave Bell.
The county holds these terrorism readiness workshops each year to develop cooperation and familiarity with other departments, from the boots on the ground to their communication officers.
“It is essential to keep the flow of communication going, and the most important thing is to make sure that we all have the same voice,” said Bluffton Police Department Public Information Officer Joy Nelson.
At the end of the day, they say it doesn’t matter which uniform they are wearing or where their jurisdiction ends. They all have a critical role in keeping the community safe.
“It’s critical to blur those lines. You know, crime has no boundary. So all of us need to work together, and we do it pretty well,” said Bromage.