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FBI holds tabletop exercise on weapons of mass destruction in Helena

Posted at 6:23 PM, Mar 03, 2020

The FBI held training in Helena Tuesday for federal, state and local agencies to prepare should a terrorist attack or nuclear disaster ever occur.

“This is a training tabletop exercise on weapons of mass destruction amongst federal, state and local partners to train to prepare for the real situation,” said FBI Special Agent David Fitzgibbons.

There were 35 agencies that took part in the training with around 75 attendees present. Attendees included: law enforcement, disaster and emergency services, local and state governments, military representatives, health experts, volunteer firefighters and more.

The transportation of radioactive material happens all across the country. Fitzgibbons says because of that, there is a potential for an incident to occur almost anywhere.

“In more populated and less populated areas, we need to be prepared,” said Fitzgibbons. “Not one agency could address this type of situation alone… This is how we talk through certain situations and we’ve got to make sure certain information flows. It takes an extraordinary level of coordination to address these kind of WMD threats.”

Rebecca Connors, public information officer with the City of Helena, told MTN that a lot of Montana disasters require cooperation between multiple agencies on many different levels.

“In Montana whether the crisis is at a local level or at a state level, training like this helps us to be able to have coordination and being able to help with getting out messaging and communicate to the public so that they stay informed as well too,” said Connors.