Saturday, Dec 7, 2013
Franklin County Holds Hazmat Disaster Training
BENTON -- First responders don't often get calls about contamination due to hazardous chemicals. So Saturday, the Franklin County EMA held a special training and exercise to make sure they're prepared.
Accidents occur all too often, and training for these disasters could mean life or death, especially when there's a risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals. The Franklin County Hospital, along with the county EMA, local fire departments and Abbot E.M.S., came together to make sure they know how to handle these types of emergencies.
"What this does is, it just brushes you up on things that you need to practice on or things you have forgotten," says West Frankfort Fire Department Captain Ron Rains.
Volunteer victims helped the departments in their efforts, making the scenarios as real as possible.
"Franklin County Hospital embraces the accountability that we have to have our communities, to be prepared for any number of types of disasters that could happen," says Franklin County Hospital's Imaging Director Dennis O'Conner.
Rains says communication is key to responding to these types of situations and it's what everyone established as priority during the training, from fire crews to the nurses.
"Then that way, it makes our job easier if we know what all the other entities are doing," explains Abbott EMS paramedic Richard Good.
But this exercise is meant to be more than just going through the motions. That's why they're being critiqued and told where improvements need to be made by evaluators.
"It's important for everybody to just know the basics and not to get themselves hurt and not to put themselves in the product and to be able to know what's good and what's bad," says Rain.
Officials say even though chemical spills are not something they see often, it's important to train with other towns. The ultimate goal is to make sure everyone is safe.
Wind: 12 MPH
Humidity: 53 %