South Carolina conducts chemical weapons emergency drill

Teams from the Charleston County Emergency Management Department in Charleston, South Carolina, recently conducted emergency training for how to handle a chemical weapon situation.

“It’s an act of domestic terrorism,” Jason Patno said, according to, in reference to the scenario the teams faced.

Dozens of first responders, including police, firefighters, emergency medical specialists and South Carolina National Guard members convened for the exercise at the former Laing Middle School near U.S. Highway 17 and Six Mile Road in Charleston, according to

Among the participants were 85 volunteers from the Weapons of Mass Destruction Regional Response Team from Charleston and Dorchester counties.

Tthe 43rd Civil Support team from the National Guard also took part in the exercise. The Guardsmen possess specialized equipment that can be used to detect radiological, chemical or biological agents, reports.

"Our proximity to the port and major transportation routes could place us at risk for exposure to a wide range of emergency incidents," Mount Pleasant Fire Chief Herb Williams said, according to "Our staff is training to respond to and mitigate those incidents."
Officials report that a full-scale exercise like this one will be conducted at least once a year.