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First responders hold emergency drills in Evanston

Posted: Friday, Oct 11th, 2013

Responders from the State of Wyoming Regional Response Team haul their tools to the site of a mock chlorine spill Wednesday afternoon. The drill was a training for first responders held at the Uinta County Fairgrounds. (HERALD PHOTO/Ed Close)

By Ed Close

Herald Reporter

EVANSTON — According to police scanner traffic, a tanker overturned on I-80 Wednesday, shutting down both eastbound and westbound traffic. Scanner traffic indicated it was leaking an unknown fluid and responders from the fire department, ambulance team and HAZMAT, among others were dispatched to the scene.

But dispatchers made it clear with each page, “This page is for a drill.”

There was no tanker. I-80 wasn’t closed.

Several agencies were dispatched, but for training purposes only.

Mock victims littered the ground in the parking lot of the Uinta County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, Oct. 9, just after 3 p.m. No one was hurt but first responders from various agencies descended on the fairgrounds during emergency situation drills.

Agencies involved included the Evanston Police Department, the Evanston Fire Department, a HAZMAT team, Uinta County Ambulance, the State of Wyoming Regional Response Team, the Rock Springs Fire Department, and Wyoming State Highway Patrol.

The drills are held at least once a year and this year’s drill was a scenario for what would happen in the case of a chlorine spill. The drills involve the coordinated efforts of all first response agencies and are meant to improve response in the event of an actual emergency.

Mock victims for the fairgrounds portion of the drill included Tenessa Love, Chance Pauly, Sheyanne May and Trinidy Love. Other mock victims were on scene for a drill concerning an overturned semi under a local overpass and the Evanston Regional Hospital Emergency Room.

“I was involved in the emergency drill today,” Larissa Sneider of Evanston said. “My job [was to] test security at the hospital. I walked right in and caused a little chaos — not the greatest security in a crisis. All emergency services were involved on all levels. It was a great learning exercise.”

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