Agencies Train for Disaster

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First responders in Trumbull and Mahoning counties trained to handle hazardous chemical spills Thursday.

The Trumbull County Emergency Management Agency held a full-scale drill on Elm Road in Howland. A tanker truck was stationed in a parking lot behind the former DIY building with liquid pouring from the tanker to simulate a hazardous chemical spill.

Firefighters, HAZMAT crews, the Red Cross, the Soil and Water Conservation District, the Trumbull County Health Department, and local hospitals all trained during the mock spill.

“Communications is important in response time, traffic and management of access in and out, just coordination between the agencies, the dispatching,” said Mike Wilson, executive director of Trumbull SWCD.

The drill also provided officials practice on how to prevent ground and water contamination.

In Youngstown, the Mahoning County Emergency Operation Center reviewed its planned response for a chemical spill.

Local hospitals along with police, fire, and the Ohio State Patrol worked through a mock chemical spill with the county’s 911 center at the EMA facility in Youngstown.

Mahoning County EMA Director Clark Jones said first responders are tested in emergency situations every day, and the event is a way to make sure everyone in the county is on the same page.

“When you compound it with weather and spilled chemicals, now you’re testing other assets to make sure everybody knows how to play together,” said Jones.

The annual exercise is mandated by the state.

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