Hundreds of National Guard members teamed up with local law enforcement for an elaborate exercise Saturday.
The training scenario in Richmond tested how prepared agencies are to deal with the discovery of a “dirty bomb.” Dirty bombs combine radioactive material with conventional explosives.
California Guard members practiced decontamination, medical aid, and disposing of the bomb.
First responders from El Cerrito, Richmond and other parts of Contra Costa County took part as well.
“It’s not so much that the world is getting so dangerous that we need to do a dirty bomb exercise," California National Guard Public Affairs Officer Capt. William Martin said. "It’s more that we want to be prepared for any kind of incident that might occur. We know there’s folks out there who have ill intent and we want to make sure that interagency cooperation is there that we can respond in a quick fashion."
The military police brigade that led the exercise is also home to a FEMA Homeland Response Force.
The team is designed to rapidly respond to any kind of large-scale emergency in California, Arizona, Nevada or Hawaii.