Biological threat training exercise held at FAMU ROTC

By: Lanetra Bennett | WCTV Eyewitness News
July 26, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The cleaning crew called 911 after coming across an unknown liquid spray in Howard Hall at FAMU.
    
By the time first responders arrived, the crew was dead.

Now, a hazardous materials survey team is trying to figure out what the cleaning crew was exposed to.

They found a potential source, but the alarm started going off while teams were searching through a backpack inside an office.
    
Thank goodness this is not real.

But, the Army North Southeast Division trains as if it is.

"You fight the way you train, so we train a lot and try to train as realistically as we possibly can," said Lieutenant Colonel Tom Benton, the Commander of 48th Civil Support Team.
  
A complete staging area was setup up at Bragg Memorial Stadium, with a communication center and a laboratory. Team members take any found biological or radioactive materials to the area to be tested and analyzed.

There's also the command post. It's essentially the nervous system of the operation, where team members control everything on the site.

Lt. Col. Benton says having the proper equipment is important as well.

He said, "They're wearing what's called "level A" personal protective equipment. Basically, it's a giant ziploc bag that we zip up inside of, with respiratory protection inside that suit  They can pretty much be exposed to anything."

Lt. Col. Edwin Escobar, professor of Military Science of Army ROTC at FAMU, said, "It's all about providing a safe and secure environment. I feel a whole lot more confident. They know the layout, they know the ground. It's all about that inner operability. We're just a step closer to reaching mission success."

The training exercise is in partnership with FAMU ROTC and the FAMU Police Department.
    
The 48th Civil Support Team is based out of Texas.



 
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