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Last updateSat, 16 Dec 2017 12am






    Saturday, December 16, 2017-7:44:50A.M.






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Official: Fire department’s hazmat unit performed well in Konfitma exercise

PAUL Sasamoto, Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services hazmat unit supervisor, said their unit performed very well in the recent Konfitma exercise.

Konfitma is an annual exercise that started in 2009 and is a partnership between CNMI and federal agencies.

The annual exercise presents first responders with scenarios.

This year, the DFEMS hazmat unit responded to a reported meth lab that turned out to be a mustard gas production facility, Sasamoto said.

They also responded to a mustard dispersing device located at Garapan Elementary School, he added.

First responders are seen with a “patient” being transported to the hazmat decontamination station set up in the CHC parking lot during the recent Konfitma exercise.  Contributed photo

“DFEMS hazmat unit performed very well in conjunction with the Civil Support Team group from Hawaii, Alaska, Washington state, and Guam.”

According to Sasamoto, in responding to the Konfitma exercise scenarios, the DFEMS hazmat unit split into multiple teams to respond to multiple incidents.

“Using the incident command system we ended up with a better way of running our hazmat unit,” he added.

Sasamoto said they participated in all the incident scenarios of this year’s Konfitma exercise. These included an plane crash near the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport, an active shooter scenario, and a bio-terrorism scenario at MIHA housing.

The 24-hour, full scale, all-hazard exercise was conducted on June 13, 2017.

Sasamoto was the DFEMS hazmat unit incident commander for the Konfitma exercise.