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Mont. first responders take part in ant-terrorism drill

Multiple agencies participated in a drill at Fort Harrison involving protestors blocking a roadway

By Sonny Tapia
Independent Record

FORT HARRISON, Mont. — Fort Harrison staged a protest turned lethal on Wednesday, where actors portraying protesters were injured after a driver struck a crowd in a scenario designed to see how the response from local authorities would play out.

Multiple agencies including the Montana National Guard, which hosted the event, the FBI, Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Helena Police Department, St. Peter’s Health, Fort Harrison VA Fire Department and more were involved in the annual anti-terrorism training drill.

Roughly 50 personnel from the agencies were on the scene, practicing how they would respond to the situation. Hundreds more participated in the training off-site, according to Fort Harrison officials.

Officials said by definition terrorism is the use of force or threat of force impacting public opinions and legal processes.

In this case, the scenario was a group of protesters blocking a main roadway with a portion of them lying on the ground chained together.

The other portion of the group was moved to a safer area off the main road but were struck by a counter-protester driving a vehicle, “injuring” and “killing” some of the participants.

Some of the protesters started chanting “Save the deer” and “Red rover, red rover, send the po po right over.”

Responders from local agencies acted as they would in a real-life scenario through coordination and teamwork with each other.

Overall, the goal of the training was to ensure the safety of personnel within the fort and the processes used by first responders.

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