Chemical attack simulation conducted in United Kingdom

Chemical experts and decontamination teams conducted a chemical attack simulation in Redhill, Surrey, United Kingdom, on Monday night at the Belfry Shopping Center.

Officials with Surrey Fire and Rescue Service wore biohazard suits as they quarantined 30 volunteers inside the shopping center with simulated reports of a suspicious chemical inside. The firefighters roamed the shopping center to investigate the chemical and make contact with people acting as victims, This Is Surrey Today reports.

"It is the first time we've done such a drill in a public place," Jacob Leverett, an SFRS spokesman, said, according to This Is Surrey Today. "It is not a test of our speed, it is a test of doing things right."

Volunteers were taken through decontamination showers outside, though the water was not turned on due to sub-zero temperatures. A specialist team then tested the chemical prior to removing it.

The shopping center location presented the firefighters with challenges such as limited space and access.

"It all went well," Tessa Schooling, the station manager of SFRS, said, according to This Is Surrey Today. "The location presented challenges because the space is quite compromised."

The drill was required by the U.K. government, which schedules periodic incident drills for different fire services around the country. SFRS will take part in two additional drills later this year to make sure each firefighter has participated in at least one.