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      Wastewater Treatment Plant staff learns how to handle terrorist attack

      Marquette emergency personnel and Wastewater Treatment Plant staff participated Wednesday in an exercise that helped prepare them for acts of terrorism including water contamination or plant explosion. Marquette City Police, Fire Department, and Engineering sat in on a tabletop exercise that outlined exactly how to handle just such an emergency.

      The group discussed emergency procedures, responder safety and how to relay vital information to the public. They were also able to identify their strengths in dealing with emergencies.

      "Some of the strengths we found is we have an awful lot of resources and experience among us," said Fred Benzie, Marquette County Health Officer. "We use the incident command system which means we would activate emergency operation centers and bring these people in and ask the right questions and actually communicate with the media on a regular basis."

      The exercise is funded by a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. The training was led by a group called Patriot Services. They will be conducting similar sessions Thursday in Ishpeming and Escanaba.