Reporting Rachel Slavik
DELANO, Minn. (WCCO) – Dozens of agencies, from local to the federal level, are participating in a chemical accident drill at Delano High School.
The full scale training exercise gives them the chance to work together before a disaster happens.
This particular drill has everything from injured victims, to the investigative tools they’d use in an explosion. It has to be as real as possible, so first responders get a sense of how they’d react in an emergency.
The drill, known as Operation Tiger Chem, involves a crew responding to a blast in a chemistry lab that injured eight people.
On Wednesday, they focused on first response and how they would help the victims.
Thursday, it was about the investigation. If this were real, they would send in a robot to try to figure out what might have caused the explosion. They even included a suitcase with a fake bomb, which will tip off that robot.
“In a chemistry lab, we probably have 300 normal chemicals. We wanted to up the ante for our team our state resource team to see how we’d go about finding what was used what went wrong and what possibly is happening there if it’s intentional or not or an accident,” said Kevin Reed, a state emergency response coordinator.
The goal of this drill is not only to build a working relationship with other agencies, but also evaluate their response.
Some of the agencies were there to critique the first responders and point out what went well and what needs work.