Twenty-four members of the 72nd Civil Support Team (CST) from Lincoln, Neb., recently completed a week of training and hands-on scenario-based exercises at TEEX’s Disaster City?.
The joint Nebraska Army and Air National Guard team is based in FEMA Region 7 and is trained for rapid deployment to support civil authorities in identifying hazardous materials and determining response measures. The team assists local incident commanders and civilian responders with incidents involving suspected nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological materials. In 2008, the team was deployed to Texas for Hurricane Ike to assist with identifying potential contamination and hazardous materials.
As a part of two training exercises, the CST was deployed to Disaster City, where members met with the incident commander, interfaced with local responders and conducted a radiological survey of the incident site, said Brian Smith of TEEX Disaster Preparedness and Response division. While at TEEX, the group also attended some advanced rope rescue training.
This was the first time the 72nd Civil Support Team had trained at Disaster City, though Smith said Civil Support Teams from several other states have trained here, including Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Texas and Wyoming.
“This is the seventh CST to come here to train in Disaster City,” Smith said. “The 72nd CST chose to come to TEEX based on our reputation in the CST community and our ability to provide realistic disaster scenarios at an advanced training facility.”