National Guard team trains with local first responders in Pioneer Park

ST. GEORGE –  Members of the St. George Fire Department joined personnel from the 85th National Guard Civil Support Team Friday for technical ropes and rescue training on the Dixie Rock in Pioneer Park.

The 85th National Guard Civil Support Team, or CST, is based in Salt Lake City, and consists of Army and Air Force personnel from Utah, Nevada, Alaska, Kansas City, and as far away as Guam.

“We are a 22-man all-hazards response team from Salt Lake City,” Maj. Daniel Frost, Deputy Commander of the 85th CST, said.

“One of our mission sets is rope rescue so any time we can get out with the first responders, link up with them, and do some ropes rescue training with them, it is good for us,” Frost said.

“We are out here working with the St. George first responders; we have a good mix of fire and police up here.”

According to the 85th CST website, the team’s primary mission is to “augment local and regional terrorism response capabilities in the event of known or suspected weapons of mass destruction.”

As an important part of that goal, the CST needs to practice coordinating with local first responders, as in the exercise at Dixie Rock.

Members of the 85th CST are all certified as Hazardous Materials Technicians and have a minimum of 10 years military experience. The group focuses on four areas: operations, survey, medical and communications; and its mission is to assess a potential hazard, advise civilian responders, and assist with the emergency.

The 85th CST is an asset of the governor of Utah, and works with existing local, county, state and federal responders and hazardous materials teams.

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