Training for Worst Case Scenario
The agencies worked with the State Public Health Laboratory to run exercises on what would happen if hazardous chemicals leaked. The emergency response workers suited up to head into the laboratory for a hands-on exercise.
Bill Farr, the Cole County Emergency Director said practical training is much better than the alternative.
"Instead of doing something tabletop this is actually a full blown exercise, bringing the equipment out, bringing the man power out which makes a lot of difference, it's more real time to the employees," Farr said.
The exercise allowed teams to put on hazmat suits and identify a powdery white substance in the mailroom of the State Public Health Laboratory.
"They are simulating a spill in one of the laboratories and they brought the obvious, a 9-1-1 call would bring capitol police, fire, and then hazmat if need be," says Mike Rackers, hazmat chief for Cole County.
While carrying out that task, the teams also had to get the employees out to safety and to decontamination chambers. A employee acting as a victim said the exercise was positive.
"It was really awesome to be able to go through the whole experience as you would in a real situation," said Adam Perkins.