Athens Co 1st Responders complete hazardous materials preparedness exercise on Sat, 6/10, job well Done!

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Athens County LEPC’s full-scale hazardous materials preparedness exercise was held on Saturday, June 10th on the campus of Hocking College in Nelsonville. The scenario was chemical tanker truck that had been involved in a collision, injuries and a fatality were reported, and the tanker was leaking its hazardous cargo.

First responders from the Nelsonville Fire and Police Departments, Hocking College Police, Athens County EMS, the American Red Cross, Athens County EMA, Ohio Health O’Bleness Hospital, Athens County 9-1-1, local amateur radio operators, Athens County Sheriff’s Office explores, and Athens County Jobs and Family Services were involved in this hands-on scenario.

A representative from Ohio EMA and surrounding County EMA’s were on site to evaluate our local response.

The scenario required an initial scene size up by the fire department along with quickly establishing a security perimeter due to the leaking hazardous materials, establishing an incident command post, closing major roads and access to the Hocking River, coordinating the evacuation of nearby businesses and residences and setting up shelter locations in a safe area, making timely and accurate public information statements to the press, contacting a dedicated hazardous materials cleanup team, making entry to the site and removing an injured and contaminated victim, decontaminating the victim for EMS to transport to the hospital, removing and decontaminating a dead body for the coroner, and finally, decontaminating the on-site entry crew.

OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital actually received the EMS patient and followed their internal plan for managing this situation. The hospital also received two patients who arrived by private auto and had been decontaminated. The Athens County 9-1-1 Center processed the radio and telephone traffic (along with daily real calls) as if this staged training event was an actual emergency.

This hands-on preparedness exercise helps keep Athens County first responders ready to help our communities during complex and difficult emergency incidents. Thank you to Hocking College for allowing us to utilize their facilities and a job well done by all our first responders that participated.

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