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Iowa First Responders Practice Weapons of Mass Destruction Drill in Waterloo

Two dozen Linn County emergency workers spent the day preparing for a nightmare like bombing attacks in Iowa.

Fire trucks and police cars filled the national cattle congress grounds -- as first responders from across the state gathered for a weapons of mass destruction disaster drill.

Cedar Rapids police in chemical suits along with a bomb dog raiding a building in search of a bomb.

It's all part of preparing for a disaster.

"So far there have been two tactical breaches which is they assumed there was bad guys in there so they went in with the teams to clear the buildings,” said Captain Mike Cheney of the Cedar Rapids Fire Department.

First responders from across Iowa played out a variety of scenarios like sending in a robot to collect data and photos before members of the bomb squad moves in.

City, county, state and even federal agencies practiced for events they hope will never happen.

"We had this planned long before the Boston marathon. The Department of Homeland Security has been setting up and encouraging us to train together for a long time,” said Captain Ryan Mahood of the Waterloo Fire Department.

With the bombings of the Boston Marathon still vividly fresh in the minds of all there, training is what counts most.

"That we are ready to respond if for instance there was an event that happened at a large scale,” said Cheney.

Tomorrow, the final day of the exercise, all the units will get together to talk about what went right today and what improvements can be made as well.
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