Monday, February 02, 2009

Mr. Safety

All appearances aside, this actually has nothing to do with last week's series of pictures from the Ligatne Bunker. Last week, your correspondent volunteered/was pressed into service as a member of the Embassy's First Responder Team. It is very hard to imagine that Riga is a serious target for a terrorist chemical weapons attack, but it's not impossible. In fact, Riga was one of the many U.S. Embassies that received a suspicious letter filled with white powder in December. They all turned out to contain not weaponized anthrax but all-purpose flour, but it did remind everyone to stay prepared.

As such, this is the team that, in the case of another suspicious-powder letter or even a sarin gas attack on the Embassy, will spring into action doing search and rescue, testing what the agent is, and most importantly, stripping all the victims naked and scrubbing away any trace of potential chemical or biological weapons. We did a no-actual-nakedness drill on Friday. Lucky, too, as it was below freezing out. I certainly hope that if someone decides to drop VX nerve gas on the Embassy, they choose a mild spring day to do so.

Bonus points to alert readers who can determine which gas-mask-and-chem-suit-wearing figure in this picture is your correspondent.


Debra said...

I'm guessing Matt is sixth from the left, in the back.

Matt said...

A flattering guess, but I don't tower over your average Latvian as I once did over Guatemalans.

Carrie said...

The one flashing gang signs?

Matt said...

"Gang signs" it is, or at least the sign for a really lame gang.