Montana tribes training for hazmat response
| 03.05.2007 | 09:03:05 | Views: 3154 | ID:
March 5 '07: Tribal members from the Confederated Salish-Kootenai and Blackfoot tribes have been taking an 18-month course to train for hazmat disaster response, the Daily Interlake reported. The 24-member crew, called the Hazardous Action Workers Keeping Safe (HAWKS) "will be specialists on how to handle hazardous materials and what to do in the event of "agro-terrorism", the Daily reported.
According to the Daily, HAWKS members will be able to respond to disasters "involving highly contagious diseases such as avian flu and mad cow disease. They will also sharped construction skills needed to rebuild destroyed homes, commercial buildings and infrastructure."Mary Danford, from the Montana PEAKS organization told the paper, "This is our first demonstration project of this magnitude. ... When we trained in Libby in 2000 and 2001, we got the relationship established. Then with 9/11 and Katrina, they called us," to help with the disaster response. Money for the program comes from a federal grant under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Training is provided by area businesses, academic institutions, disaster response exerts and hazmat specialists. The program will enable the HAWKS members to respond to a hazmat situation; become trained to understand the nature of such hazmat disasters before they happen; equip the members to be deployed across the U.S.; and help rebuild communities affected by a disaster.
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