Small town fire and police departments attend bioterrorism conference in Muskogee

Monday, November 19th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Big cities and small towns are preparing to answer the threat of bio-terrorism. In small towns such as Coweta, the threat was never considered before September 11th.

The Wagoner County fire department has only its regular facemasks to protect firefighters - not the hazardous materials suits that would protect them from anthrax. At a bioterrorism conference in Muskogee Monday, experts told small town firefighters and police they should prepare - but not overestimate the chances they'll face a real terror attack.

FBI Special Agent, Richard Marquise, "I don't think people in rural Oklahoma need to sit here and worry about what's going to happen - they need to be aware, they need to be alert."

Congress is working on a plan to pay for new training and equipment for small town departments.