CENTERBURG — A joint effort from numerous area emergency and rescue agencies provided some extensive training in a hazardous materials situation Thursday in Centerburg. The haz-mat functional exercise was planned with numerous rescue personnel participating, all in an effort to provide training in a real-life practice situation for multiple agencies.
The scenario which was created depicted a container containing sulfuric acid rupturing after dislodging from a truck and tumbling down an embankment near Centerburg Memorial Park. Nearby pedestrians are contaminated, and a hazardous vapor cloud is settling over visitors to the Oldtime Farming Festival. Residents of the Ohio Eastern Star Home are injured inside a transport van when it swerves to miss a bicyclist in the road.
First responders assessed the situation with the sulfuric acid from where they were staged. Once they assessed the situation, they contacted Knox County Emergency Management Agency Director Brian Hess. The immediate threat was identified, and EMS personnel, first responders and other volunteer workers were organized to handle the situation. The exercise would be graded successful depending on how fast the response was met, how effective the response measures were and how much was learned from the situation.
Nineteen victims were examined for symptoms in order to determine how to properly respond to the situation. Haz-mat experts utilized their skills in containing the acidic material and assisting the first responders and EMS personnel in treating the victims.