LIHU’E — The screaming that came from children were not for the soccer game that was going on inside Vidinha Stadium.
“We’re all going to die,” one boy screamed, his arm flailing as he dashed off through the parking lot, a firefighter in pursuit.
One girl’s scream was abruptly cut short as she collapsed while trying to climb the grassy knoll on the mauka side of the stadium.
This was the scenario that greeted Kaua’i Fire Department firefighters and Kaua’i Police Department officers who responded to a report of youngsters reacting to a strange chemical that was reported to have been released during a soccer tournament.
That scenario was part of the annual week-long anti-terrorism training exercise coordinated by the Kaua’i Civil Defense Agency in coordination with the Hawaii Army National Guard’s 93rd Civil Support Team.
“The county takes threats seriously,” said Mark Marshall, head of Kaua’i’s Civil Defense Agency. “We have plans in place, and we’re going to exercise those plans.”
Gregg Morishige, retired KFD captain and now with the county Civil Defense Agency, said that during previous exercises, there were a lot of scenarios to deal with, and exercises took up most of the week.
However, this year, there was only one scenario, with the other three days involving training with new equipment and materials that have become available during the year.
Morishige pointed out that this works out well for the county’s emergency responders in the fire and police departments.
“The people in Lihu’e have a chance to work with these equipment and materials because they’re in Lihu’e, but the personnel in the outlying stations don’t even get to see some of these things,” Morishige said.
“This exercise allows them a chance to work with the materials.”
Additionally, he said that the exercise was designed to be “fire-department-driven” at Vidinha Stadium. But, because all of the equipment and personnel were Hawaii Supreme Court justices ruled irrelevant and prejudicial in the first trial was not called to testify in the new trial.
The jury returned a verdict of guilty as charged to murder in the second degree on March 29.
Members of the Hawaii Paroling Authority will set the minimum term McCrory must serve at a hearing which must be held within six months of yesterday’s sentencing, according to prosecutors.
Dane Oda of Kaua’i and Honolulu, who was recently elected to a seat on the board of directors of the Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative, is one of three members of the Hawaii Paroling Authority. -on hand, a separate scenario was developed to create a “police department-driven” exercise.
This involved the report of a suspect seen running from the stadium shortly after the report of a chemical release was called in.
Alejandro Quibilan of the Kaua’i Police Department said the suspect was seen entering the former KPD headquarters building on ‘Umi Street.
A portion of that street was closed off as KPD officers responded to the call, and after it was determined that the suspect had taken a hostage who happened to be walking in the area, the SWAT team was assembled and called in.
During a background check on the suspect, Quibilan noted that the male suspect with a master’s degree in biochemistry had known links to a terrorist organization.
This created a scenario where Quibilan said the settling of the situation to a favorable conclusion with minimal distraction to the community was the primary goal.
In addition to Wilcox Elementary School having a normal school day, with the exception of their principal being hauled off in a Muscular Dystrophy Association paddy wagon for a fund-raiser at lunchtime, Quibilan noted that the adjacent Lihu’e County Park’s caretaker was striping the fields for an upcoming baseball game.
With the exception of ‘Umi Street being closed for about 30 minutes, all activities continued as the KPD personnel worked through the negotiation scenario before giving the go-ahead for SWAT team members to take control of the building occupied by the suspect.
The CST-coordinated exercises are designed to help test local, state, and federal anti-terrorist response plans, and coordinate all responding agencies in the event of an attack.
- Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or firstname.lastname@example.org.