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Press Releases / 2005 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 22, 2005


Firefighters and Marines train at a simulated fire and radiation leak aboard a ship

The New York City Fire Department and the United States Marine Corps Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (USMC C-BIRF) today held a full-scale joint training exercise at the Red Hook Container Terminal in Brooklyn . More than 200 FDNY members and U.S. marines participated in this drill, which simulated a fire on a ship with a radiation leak. The C-BIRF team and members of Fire Department’s Special Operations Command (SOC) assisted with a collapse/confined space rescue aboard the ship.

“For nearly a decade, the Fire Department and U.S. Marine Corps have maintained a strong relationship - sharing expertise and knowledge in a wide range of emergency response issues,” said Fire Commissioner Scoppetta. “In a post-9/11 world, this relationship has become even more critical as we face an ever-changing security environment. Together, we’re increasing our preparedness to ensure the safety of New York City and our nation.”

Today’s exercise is the culmination of a week-long training session at the FDNY Training Academy where both the FDNY and USMC worked together to train in various tactical rescue situations, ranging from search and rescue, extrication, high-angle rescue and collapse/confined space rescue. Each topic covered during this past week played a vital role in today’s training exercise. This is the fourth joint training exercise between the FDNY and USMC since 1996.

C-BIRF was formed in the spring of 1996 to provide the United States Marine Corps with the capabilities for agent detection and identification, casualty search, rescue, personnel and civilian decontamination and emergency medical care. Based in Indianhead , Maryland , the team responds to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive incidents worldwide. C-BIRF was activated in response to the anthrax attacks that took place in the Washington D.C. area following September 11th.


Contact: Francis X. Gribbon and Sethe Andrews (FDNY) (718) 999-2056

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