Counter Terrorism Task Force Trains in Poconos

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In the event of a major emergency, you'll likely see a mobile command trailer on scene, all equipped with communication devices.

A total of eight trailers were parked outside the 911 Center in Snydersville from seven counties to take part in the "Northeast Pennsylvania Regional Counter Terrorism Task Force" training.

"We've probably purchased $4 million worth of inter-operable communications equipment, which means, hopefully we can talk to one another when all the standard systems go down," said Guy Miller, the Director of Emergency Management.

The eight-county task force, which includes from Lackawanna to Lehigh counties, came together to test out that equipment and make sure all systems are ready to go. That is, in the event of an emergency.

"It bridges the gap between the different communities, counties, townships. So in the event of an emergency, if there's a need to communicate, we can flawlessly between the groups," said Bruce Butler of the Susquhanna 911 Center.

One of the exercises includes calling satellite numbers and cell phone numbers, just to make sure everything is working.

For all the counties involved, the training is very helpful because glitches are being worked out.

"We have a couple of bugs here and there that we've found that we're able to learn from, some equipment we need to purchase and update," said Michael Bartholomew of the Lehigh County Command Post.

"Some things, such as programming of radios, to make sure we all have the same frequency, so we can contact each other in that frequency," said Richard Barbolish, from Lackawanna County Emergency Management.

After Wednesday's training, the task force will also be able to better help provide emergency communication to other counties across the state and throughout the country, if needed.