Technical Rescue

FIRST RESPONDERS’ FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE IN TERRORISM RESPONSES

Issue 11 and Volume 159.

BY SAM HANSEN AND ALAN VEASEY At the end of World War I, U.S. Commander General Pershing said, “Whether or not chemical agents will be employed in the future is a matter of conjecture, but the threat to the unprepared is so deadly we cannot afford to neglect the question.” The wisdom of this statement was proven in 1995 when the terrorist group Aum Shinrikyo launched a chemical nerve agent attack within the Tokyo subway system. The Tokyo attack clearly demonstrated the potential of a new and insidious form of terrorism and escalated concerns among government and public safety response agencies regarding the potential for these types of attacks in the United States. Following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001, a new terrorist threat emerged in America. In October 2001, envelopes containing deadly anthrax spores were mailed to U.S. political leaders and members…

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