The U.S. Army and the Pell City Fire Department in Pell City, Ala., have teamed up to train for disaster preparedness to ensure their hazmat teams would be ready for a real disaster.
The teams trained for a decontamination process, also known as a de-con process, during which the firefighters found what was thought to be anthrax during a house fire, CBS 42 reports.
"We found out we were in a position where there were hazardous materials released during the fire," Thomas Graves, a Pell City firefighter, said, according to CBS 42. "At that point, we set up a hazmat team and called in different professionals and things of that nature."
By uniting these two teams in the drill, both groups have the ability to learn how the other one operates. The drill also trains both groups to be prepared for such a situation in reality.
"We want to learn what not to do," Major Jeff Weir of the 415th Chemical Brigade, said, according to CBS 42. "We also want to learn about the unexpected, so if something does happen, we're covering all our bases."
Weir said that the partnership between the local fire departments and the military can improve the success of their emergency response.
"You never know really when something like this is going to happen," Graves said, according to CBS 42. "So you just have to train when you can."