City of Carbondale first responders participate in full scale exercise

CARBONDALE, Ill. (KBSI) – First responders in the city of Carbondale, Carbondale Office Emergency Management and Carbondale Police Department participated in a training exercise in downtown Carbondale from 9 a.m. to noon in downtown Carbondale Tuesday.

The exercise simulates a hazardous material train derailment and train/vehicle collision at the grade crossing with East College Street.

This gives the officers and first responders the opportunity to practice and participate in timely coordination and communication with other agencies to adequately prepare for any potential real-life emergencies.

First responders from Carbondale fire and police departments participated in a training simulation in downtown Carbondale by the train tracks.

They simulated a hazardous train derailment and train-vehicle collision at the grade crossing on East College Street.

The agencies involved and the Jackson County Emergency Management Agency in this stimulation have worked for more than a year to put this training exercise together.

Volunteers from the community helped with the training.

“There are a lot of actors over there with burns all over their body. Leg wounds, there’s a seven year old that’s in shock,” said Deb Newman, an actor volunteer.

This helps the agencies decide from the areas they might need to learn from.

The scenario simulated a vehicle hit by a train with several actors pretending to be injured. A train car leaked hazardous material and because of that leak they had to move dispatch to another location.

Fire Chief Mike Hertz says that is something they have wanted to test for awhile.

“And so we like to stay fresh so every couple years we like to do a full scale exercise like this in a controlled environment and move onto the real environment,” said Hertz.

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