The District 1 Local Emergency Planning Committee held a full-scale hazardous materials exercise at the University of West Florida on March 10. The exercise enabled first responders and the university to test procedures and improve overall performance should any county in northwest Florida experience a hazardous materials incident beyond their ability to respond.

The mock scenario consisted of an apparent “explosion/fire” at the university’s science building, which houses a chemistry lab. Actors played the parts of the wounded (and deceased) and evaluators took notIMG_6919es while emergency management team members from Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties “extinguished the fire” and “decontaminated the victims.”

Additional participating organizations included the Florida Department of Health, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Highway Patrol, USCG HazMat Strike Team, as well as staff and law enforcement from the LEPC’s gracious exercise host, the University of West Florida.

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