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10th CST provides valuable support to the Issaquah community during Salmon Days


While there was no credible threat, Salmon Days, celebrated in Issaquah, Washington, every year, the local first responder community wants to be prepared to for any emergency. With so many people in such a small area, the 10th Civil Support Team (CST) is relied upon to fill gaps.

“I think the most important piece, and at least the value that I see in it, is the support of being able to be proactively looking for unknown threats and new threats in the world, that could come to our event as well,” said Cpl. Ryan Smith, Issaquah community resource officer and Salmon Days commander. “So they’re a huge piece to support that since we don’t have that same capability.”

Salmon Days is the largest community festival in the state, and regularly draws more than 150,000 visitors each year. The goal of the festival is to provide a community celebration focused on honoring the miraculous return of the salmon, almost two tons of salmon return each year. Initiated by a parade, welcoming the salmon to their birth-waters, you can even watch them jumping up river at the hatchery.

The Washington National Guard 10th CST supported the Issaquah police and fire departments during the Salmon Days festival. The 10th CST has supported this event for the last three years as members of the joint hazard assessment team. The team is typically comprised of bomb technicians, fire fighters, hazmat professionals and law enforcement.

“The reason we’re out here is to fill a gap that the local first responder community identified. And that gap is the radiological gear. They don’t have that detection capability and they want it out here today so they asked for us,” said Warrant Officer Daniel Jones.

The guardsmen arrived to the festival before opening to the public and conducted the initial radiation sweeps and meet with the local law enforcement and fire department to conduct roving patrols. The 10th CST also used this event to train new equipment.

“We’re exercising two of our MPDS, Man Portable Detection System, backpacks,” said Jones. “They are highly sensitive gamma radiation detection backpacks, that can also detect neutrons, and why that’s significant is because traditionally only the Department of Homeland Security resources have been able to consistently provide that to the first responder community and the CSTs just recently acquired them.”

The 10th CST supports civil authorities and through the partnership developed at events like Salmon Days they build a trust with the local first responders. This way, Jones said, “every single firefighter, every single law enforcement agent knows that if they have that significant CBRNE that they need the next level for, that we’re the first call.”

The 10th CST routinely supports community events across the country. The unit has members at Snow Flake lane in Bellevue and all Seattle Seahawks games, as well as support the Super Bowl and Presidential Inauguration and have been requested for this year’s upcoming Indianapolis 500.