U.S. Federal Government Conducts Bio-Terrorism Workshop In CNMI

First responders, public health, police, military-civil support team learn how to counter threats

By Bryan Manabat

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, march 1, 2017) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control teamed up to host a two-day workshop on countering bio-terrorism on Saipan.

The participants were first responders, the military-civil support team, public health and law enforcement personnel. They learned about protocols when dealing with chemical threats; assets and capabilities; threat assessment; the roles of law enforcement and public health investigation, among other topics.

FBI special agent Jay Wolfe said the workshop aimed to train law enforcement and public health professionals to identify criminal chemical threats to public health, and to work closely together in order to address those concerns and successfully respond to a suspected biological or chemical threat.

Wolfe said the workshop helped prepare participants for their roles in case of a bio-terrorism incident, adding that it was also an opportunity for local law enforcement and public health agencies to identify assets and capabilities available in the CNMI.

The FBI Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate-Biological Countermeasures Unit and CDC’s Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections provided trainers for the workshop which started on Friday and was held at the CNMI Emergency Operation Center on Capital Hill.

Variety learned that it was the first time that this type of training was conducted in the CNMI and Guam which hosted the workshop on Feb. 22.

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