ARDMORE, OK-- Dozens of emergency responders witnessed a suspicious package being investigated at the Ardmore veterans center but it was not a real threat, just a drill meant to prepare them for potential disasters.
The Oklahoma National Guard's 63rd Civil Support team participated in Wednesday drill. The 22 members of the team are specifically qualified to deal with hazardous materials, have more than a thousand hours of training, and are trying to teach area responders how to better handle potential disasters even terrorist attacks.
Dozens of response units gathered at the Ardmore Veterans' Center earlier today to watch the civil support team in action.
"A full level A entry here to take some samples on a suspicious package inside the building today" Said Tabler.
Lieutenant colonel Hiram Tabler said it was an opportunity to show local first responders how the Team can assist them during an unknown hazardous material emergency.
"If they run into something that they can't handle that's out of their control or out of their span of control that the 63rd Civil Support team is available to them to support their incident" said Tabler.
"Their knowledge is just so deep they do this for a living daily" said Captain Ardmore FD Dave Tomlinson.
The Team came to Ardmore not only to demonstrate their equipment and capabilities but also answer questions from area police, firemen and other emergency response personnel.
"Pretty neat to talk them, quiz them on some things, see them in action, and it feels pretty good to know there just a phone call away if we needed their assistance" said Tomlinson.
The event was hosted by Admiral Wesley Hull with the Southern Oklahoma Military Officers Association of America. Hull said it was a great learning experience for everyone.
"Response units around southern Oklahoma to come out and interact as a way incase heaven forbid if we ever needed units of this nature at least they know about each other they work out their communications they determine each other's capabilities" said Hull.
Admiral Hull said this was the first training exercise they had but hopes to have more in the near future.