Local firefighters took part in security operations for the World Series in St. Louis.
“They (were) there as another layer of protection for the public because it is a national event,” Washington Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bill Halmich said Monday.
There were 18 members from the Franklin County Homeland Security Response Team who took part in the effort. Of those, 14 were from the Washington Volunteer Fire Department, and the other four were from the Boles Fire District, Halmich noted.
Each night that the World Series was in St. Louis six members of the local Homeland Security team went to the ballpark to help with monitoring, but Halmich said he could not provide specifics on the operation for security reasons.
But he said they used specialized monitoring equipment at Busch Stadium and some got to go inside the stadium during the game.
They began their duties at 3 p.m. and stayed until the end of the game, working with the Fort Leonard Wood hazardous materials team, Coast Guard, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the St. Louis Fire Department.
Local officers have assisted with previous World Series games, Halmich said.
Some of the firefighters this year got to see the game, but others did not. But that is not why they were there, Halmich said, adding, “duty comes first.”
Those who took part in the security effort had to be hazardous materials technicians. Taking part in such efforts helps the local responders get exposure and education from working a national event.
“I am glad that the city of St. Louis does it this way because it gives us an opportunity to learn from the events,” Halmich said. “So if we have an occurrence we are better prepared ourselves.”