Chemical weapon disaster training at Fort McClellan - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Chemical weapon disaster training at Fort McClellan

Posted: Updated:
abc3340.com abc3340.com
ANNISTON, Ala. -

Nearly 500 soldiers from the Georgia National Guard are in Anniston this week to train for disasters.

Most of them spent Thursday in protective hazardous material suits as part of a training exercise which simulated the possibility of a chemical hazard.

"We're trained to respond to any kind of chemical, biological, nuclear incident that may occur," Lieutenant Colonel Mike Maddox said.

"We're also trained to respond to natural disasters and to assist citizens.  This exercise allows us to come together collectively as a group and to practice our skills, which [include] search and extraction, collapsed structure type stuff, chemical decontamination, and we also have medical treatment."

The story line for Thursday's involved a steel manufacturing plant which collapsed in a tornado.  Coordinators created an incident site using large metal containers, concrete, and rubble.

Soldiers had to search for victims, with the idea that there were 600 to 1,000 casualties including many dead.

It gets worse.

"Part of the scenario is there was a chemical plant nearby is there may be some chemical contamination," Maddox said.

"Once we pull them out of the rubble and send them through our decontamination line and they get all the contaminants off of them, then we send them right through medical treatment."

Adding to the realism of the exercise is community assistance for the soldiers.  Salvation Army teams from Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Georgia practiced their response strategies.

Director of emergency disaster services Thad Hicks said his unit's role is to support whatever's happening, whether it is an active disaster scene or a training site.  This is their training, too.

"This year we didn't have any major events during hurricane season," Hicks said.  "If we don't get out and train, if we don't get out and work our units, we get a little bit soft, so this is an opportunity for us to get out, exercise our units and the teams that are housed within them, and that way we're ready to go the next time we're called out."

Commander Maddox said it is great to have the Salvation Army's support.

"For the soldier and the airmen, it's not only a morale booster, it helps them stay hydrated and motivated," he said.

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • Lethal injections on hold in Alabama

    Lethal injections on hold in Alabama

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:19 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:19:47 GMT
    16 Alabama death row inmates have exhausted their appeals and are waiting to be executed. But, lethal injections will not be performed in the state at least until next spring. Republican state Senator Cam Ward says that will be the earliest lawmakers will be able to pass new legislation that will allow Alabama to get the drugs used for executions.Ward says that pharmaceutical companies are refusing to sell Alabama more drugs until they can get some type of protection or immunity. It's because...More >>
    16 Alabama death row inmates have exhausted their appeals and are waiting to be executed. But, lethal injections will not be performed in the state at least until next spring. Republican state Senator Cam Ward says that will be the earliest lawmakers will be able to pass new legislation that will allow Alabama to get the drugs used for executions.Ward says that pharmaceutical companies are refusing to sell Alabama more drugs until they can get some type of protection or immunity. It's because...More >>
  • Judge delays decision on abortion law

    Judge delays decision on abortion law

    Thursday, July 31 2014 1:54 PM EDT2014-07-31 17:54:07 GMT
    A federal judge is delaying his decision on an Alabama law that could close some abortion clinics. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson told attorneys in June that he hoped to rule by the end of July. But Thompson notified attorneys Thursday that he needs extra time and will have a ruling by Monday. Thompson said he needs time to consider a federal appeals court ruling Tuesday that blocked a similar Mississippi law. Alabama's law requires doctors at abortion clinics to have approval to admit pa...More >>
    A federal judge is delaying his decision on an Alabama law that could close some abortion clinics. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson told attorneys in June that he hoped to rule by the end of July. But Thompson notified attorneys Thursday that he needs extra time and will have a ruling by Monday. Thompson said he needs time to consider a federal appeals court ruling Tuesday that blocked a similar Mississippi law. Alabama's law requires doctors at abortion clinics to have approval to admit pa...More >>
  • Rainbow City woman, 56, killed in accident on I-59 near Argo Wednesday night

    Rainbow City woman, 56, killed in accident on I-59 near Argo Wednesday night

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-07-31 15:48:12 GMT
    A Rainbow City woman was killed and her husband was injured Wednesday in a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 59 near Argo, Alabama State Troopers said.More >>
    A Rainbow City woman was killed and her husband was injured Wednesday in a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 59 near Argo, Alabama State Troopers said.More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...