Emergency response teams in Chicago are testing their skills this week to see how well they respond to different types of disasters, according to a myfoxchicago.com news report.
As part of the weeklong program, a mock terrorist attack will be held requiring emergency response teams to neutralize a terrorist during a chemical weapons release. Additionally, the emergency workers will have to attend to contaminated victims that must be rushed to nearby medical facilities.
The tests started on Sunday when firefighters responded to a mock plane crash. According to officials, fires were set and nearly 200 dummies and actors were scattered about as firefighters and rescue workers responded to the scene.
“It gives you a sense of realism. It gives you a sense of chaos the burning would give you,” Illinois National Guardsman Captain Greg Hertz told MyFoxChicago.com. “So the smoke does come out and while we realize the fire on a plane would be much larger than that, it gives a sense of realism to the responders.”
Hertz was among those who helped plan the series of training exercises.
Hertz also told myfoxchicago.com that on Thursday there will be a simulated explosion at the Nalco plant on Chicago’s west side.
The drills, he said, are designed to test the ability of participating agencies.
“All responses are local and we understand that and the locals handle the responses in the way they deem necessary,” Hertz said. “But what everybody needs is resources. And what becomes complicated in all this is how do I apportion resources to the appropriate venues.”