Local firefighters respond to a staged multi-casualty incident during a full scale chempack exercise which took place recently. Photo by Glenda Svendsen

County prepares for HAZMAT emergency

Our local law enforcement, fire departments, office of emergency services, emergency medical services, HAZMAT, hospital emergency department staff, and public health professionals recently conducted a coordinated drill to measure the effectiveness of Lassen County’s emergency services in the event of an incident involving nerve agents.

In most counties throughout California, drills are conducted using just three different emergency response entities.

However, Lassen County has incorporated all concerned parties to maximize effectiveness of our local agencies to respond quickly and best serve our community.

Multiple complications were presented for first responders to navigate such as crying babies, frantic parents and well-intentioned good Samaritans who role played by putting themselves in harm’s way and potentially interfering with rescuers attempts to render aid.

Safety officers and fire personnel observed the operation taking notes and evaluating procedure.

The scenario was also recorded for quality purposes so footage can be gleaned for additional troubleshooting opportunities and utilized for future training.

Susanville Fire Department Assistant Chief Marc Murphy remarked, “Jim Uruburu and Maryann Kiar did an excellent job of executing this training. This drill was an invaluable exercise for all who participated.”