Fire, Police Departments Calm Community’s Anthrax Fears

El Vaquero Staff Writer

As the country fell victim to the anthrax scare, Glendale citizens could take comfort in the security preparations the city has well in place.

On Oct. 15, the Glendale Police Department received telephone calls almost hourly regarding suspicious mail being delivered to the homes of Glendale residents. Officers were dispatched to investigate, but found no evidence of anthrax.

“Early in the week we received numerous calls,” Sgt. Bruce Fox said. “But calm seemed to fall over the city and the calls became almost non-existent by the end of the week. We can assure our citizens that there has been no incidents of biological terrorism at all, nor has any special group been threatened.”

The Glendale Fire Department says it is trained to respond to biological threats and is ready to remove any questionable items and take them to a secure place for testing.

“Since biochemical terrorism is larger than we were ever prepared for, during our training, we place additional equipment into our inventory, such as chemical suits,” said Assistant Fire Chief Chris Gray.

“Any city with a population of 200,000, has adequate trained firefighters to handle any biochemical threat,” he added.

Gray said the Glendale Fire Department is using what it learned from the federal government’s Health and Human Services Planning and Preparation Program.

It is continually evaluating every procedure in case of chemical threats or problems in Glendale. Gray suggested everyone become familiar with the Health and Human Services Web site

Sgt. Jeff Muse, the liaison for the Glendale Fire and Police Department, said that training classes on how to handle the anthrax problem were held this week. About 300 representatives of businesses and schools attended.