All-haz team prepared for the worst
Now that Garfield County has the All Hazards Response Team, some residents might be asking, “Why?””Why not?” might be the best answer.The specially trained team is set up to handle a variety of situations. Members have training that includes SWAT, handling hazardous material spills, serving search warrants and helping with drug busts.Since being formed in April 2005, the team hasn’t seen a lot of action. And that’s good, because they are trained to handle difficult, ugly situations.In 2005, the team was called out 22 times. In 2006, through mid-May, the team had only been called out four times.Which could lead again to the question of why is a team like this needed.Borrowing a couple of old phrases might help put it into perspective: It’s better to be safe than sorry. And let’s thank the Boy Scouts for this one – “Be prepared.”There are times when this team is needed and will be needed in the future. In the past, Garfield County agencies were forced to call in Mesa County’s team to help out.The All Hazards Response Team is an all-volunteer team that receives all its funding through grants, donations and fundraisers.In December, the All Hazards Response Team was put to the test when a wanted man stopped at a West Glenwood Springs motel. The incident showed the value of having an elite team in place and ready to respond.It’s not how many times the team is called out that matters. It’s how the team handles incidents when the call comes in.Yes, it’s unfortunate that a team like this is needed at all, but that’s an example of today’s society. There are fugitives, there will be manhunts, there will be drug busts and there will be times when things go bad that we need a specially trained team to respond and get the job done.Why have such a team?Why not?It makes sense to have a team that’s prepared when things go bad – a team to take care of the community where its members live.
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