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April 11, 2008     Cape Gazette
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April 11, 2008
 

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-1- 4 - CAPE GAZETTE - Friday, April 11 - Monday, April 14, 2008 Rehoboth police, DelDOT hold terrorism, training Three-day course prepares agencies for w0rst-case scenarios By Ryan Mavity Cape Gazette staff Visitors to Rehoboth Beach on a cold and windy Wednesday, April 9, must have won- dered why the block around the Bandstand looked like a corner in Baghdad. Dummies lay on the ground and blown- up cars littered the street. The gloomy scene was part of training sessions for the Rehoboth Beach Police Department and a stew of other representatives, mostly from the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT). A terrorist attack in Rehoboth sounds almost laughable but as one of the instruc- tors at the training sessions said, "Nobody thought terrorists would crash two planes into the World Trade Center either." Chief Keith Banks said the focus of the training was prevention of and response to suicide bombing incidentsand instant response to terrorist bombings. Banks said the three-day session also included repre- sentatives from Delaware Emergency Management Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Delaware State Police, among others. "In a big event, we are going to need everybody," Banks said. "It takes a collec- tive effort; everybody has to be on the same page." The training consisted of classroom ses- sions and an on-site scenario where partici- pants were quizzed on how they would react, if a suicide bomber exploded a bus. Attendees were given scenarios such as how to control the scene of a terrorist attack, how to coordinate medical services and what to do in the event of a car explo- sion. "As with anything, it's good to practice our processes to make sure they work and find out what doesn't work," Banks said. "We want everyone in the public to know that we are prepared and that we do train and we can respond to make everything run as smoothly as possible. We can't always prevent everything but we can .definitely make sure we can prevent as much as pos- sible." Instructors from as far away as N.ew Mexico who are experts on weapons of mass destruction provided their expertise on how to spot a terrorist threat and how to respond. These sessions are part of an annual "major events" training for Rehoboth police. Previous major incident training has included nor'easters, evacuations and hurri- canes, Banks said. The training sessions shut down the area around the Bandstand on Rehoboth Avenue. Banks said he appreciates the businesses on the stretch for allowing them to conduct the training. "I think it's a good thing, it's a needed thing but even more important, it's a group effort," Banks said. "We need to be pre- pared and this is another part of being pre- pared but also to know what we can and cannot do with our fellow workers out there." Contact Ryan Mavity at Dummies lie on the ground as Delaware Department of Transportation (DelI)OT) workers gather around instructor Ken Drummond to discuss what happens if a suicide bomber were to blow up a bus in Rehoboth Beach. The sce- nario was part of training undertak- en by DelDOT and the Rehobeth police department to respond to sui- cide bombings and terrorist acts. Rysn Mavlty photos Pieces of a Ford Escort He on the ground as part of training by the Rehoboth Beach Police Department and the Delaware Department of Transportation to respond to and prevent suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism. The interior of the car had already been burned out to show what the inside of the car would look like after a bombing. State police unveil new twin-engine helicopter recalls last  he was in a. $10.6 million chopper steps up rescue abilities Gov. Ruth Ann Minner joined the Delaware State Police Wednesday, April 9, to unveil the division's newest aircraft, a Bell 412 twin-engine helicopter. This new addition to the state police fleet features a larger cabin for enhanced emergency medical response and increased lifting capacity. The larger cabin significantly increases the state police's med- ical transport capabilities, because it can be configured to hold multi- ple patients at one time. Due to limited cabin space in the Bell 407 aircraft, trooper medics had been able to transport only one patient at a time. The new helicopter's larger cabin provides medics with full patient access for treatment during the transport. "This new aircraft strengthens our emergency medical response capabilities statewide, allowing us to respond faster to a mass casual- ty incident and transport multiple patients in one trip,": said Minner. "These new features will be criti- cally important to our first respon- ders in emergency situations, when each minute counts toward the safety of an injured person." Another important feature of the larger cabin is it allows for the transport of a number of state police specialized units, including its Special Operations Response Team, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit and the Scuba Unit. Getting these units to the scene of an emergency quickly and with the necessary equipment is vital to the safety of the Delaware citizen- ry. "The Bell 412 is better equipped to do the new mission of today," said Department of Safety and Homeland Security Secretary David B. Mitchell. "Being pre- pared to respond to the unexpect- ed is an important part of a solid homeland security safety plan. Adding this aircraft to our pool of resources certainly makes Delaware better prepared to han- , die the unexpected." The $10.6 million Bell 412, funded through the Bond Bill, is a workhorse with two engines. The aircraft has increased lifting capacity, so trooper medics can hoist the rescuer and victim up into the aircraft at the same time. Previously, troopers had to leave the rescuer in the water while transporting the victim to safety and then make a return trip for the rescuer. The new, helicop- ter is also equipped with floats to facilitate an emergency water landing. The aircraft can also be equipped with a fire bucket for use in fire suppression and can be used to assist in the extraction of victims from a high-rise rooftop in the event of fire. Department of Safety and Homeland Security photo Sgt. Ben Parsons buckles up Francis Kline of Ocean View for a ride in the new helicopter with Gov. Ruth Ann Minner. Gov. Ruth Ann Minner and Rep. Terry Spence, R-Stratford, prepare fortheir voyage into Delaware skies. View, was iI I