Culture Swab : Captain D Bergman, Australian Army

Place North & Central America: United States of America, New York
Accession Number REL36551
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Personal Equipment
Physical description Cotton, Plastic
Maker Becton, Dickinson and Company
Place made Italy
Date made c 2001
Conflict Period 2000-2009

Unopened BBL CultureSwab Plus. The swab and its receptical are sealed in sterile packaging. The receptical has an hourglass tube design, a 5-mL gel column, utilising amies gel without charcoal. Single swab. The swab has a tip like a cotton bud and a long stem. At the top of the swab is a blue lid, which seals the swab within its receptical. The label has manufacturer's, and a place to write details of the sample, including; name, date, age, hospital number.

History / Summary

Culture swab issued to Captain David Bergman while working with a New York Police Department (NYPD) Hazardous (HAMMER) team. Captain Bergman was an Australian Army Engineer officer studying Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) weapons and hazards in the United States in late 2001.

Along with four other Australian officers, he was seconded to the New York Police Department (NYPD) from 2 to 25 November 2001 to assist with anthrax / white powder attacks that were occurring in the wake of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. He was deployed as part of the NYPD Hazardous (HAMMER) teams operating across New York City. They would be called out to incidents to investigate and decontaminate areas if required. During November Captain Bergman attended over 30 incidents.

After working with HAMMER, he was then seconded to the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD). He worked four night shifts as part of the PAPD recovery team at Ground Zero at the World Trade Center, New York. He also visited Staten Island human remains recovery site, where all recovered material was taken for sifting, and the morgue where he went through identification techniques used to identify people.

These swabs are used for the recovery of aerobic and anaerobic organisms. They were used by the NYPD to take samples of suspicious substances for analysis.