Posted at: 09/18/2013 5:40 PM
Updated at: 09/18/2013 8:46 PM
By: Katie Eldred
Chemical Disaster Drill in Rochester
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Chemical weapons are a reality and to ignore that they could be used here at home would be a dangerous risk. Thursday Rochester emergency responders prepared for a worst case scenario.
The Rochester Fire Department along with the Rochester Chemical Assessment Team are trained for a hazardous materials incident.
"We are looking at this as a simulated clandestine chemical lab that has resulted in an individual using hazardous materials to inflict harm on a place of business," said Battalion Chief Chris Bailey.
Bailey says Haz-Mat situations can be especially dangerous. Not just for the victims, but for the responders as well.
"We have to have on our full level of protection with our clothing that protects us, our respiratory track, and our monitors that give us real time data," said Bailey.
In this case with the chemicals being used as a weapon additional teams could be called in. Like Ben Schmitz with the 55th Civil Support Team.
"This is a hostile criminal act or mass casualty event and if they would want additional resources that's when we would be called in," said Ben Schmitz.
The drill gives everyone a sense of what they would have to do in a real life situation. Which could potentially save lives.
"Something small like this has potential to harm a lot of people and scare a lot of people, and having teams like this that are ready to respond to these incidents is huge," said Schmitz.
Training them to be experts on every cautionary step. Because when it comes to chemical weapons one wrong move could cost a life.
"Hazardous materials involve a lot of things that you can't see, smell, or even touch, or it's over," said Bailey.
The hazardous training exercise is a two day training drill that wraps up on Thursday. The University of Minnesota donated the buildings space to be used for the exercise.