Memphis holds anthrax drill

The Memphis Post Office recently held an emergency drill that simulated the release of the bioterror agent anthrax.

During the exercise, anthrax spores were discovered in a letter and postal security officers, firefighters, hospital workers and police had to respond quickly and efficiently to ensure the safety of those involved, according to

"That's part of the drill today, we are going to see how quickly we can do it, you know, practice makes perfect," U.S. Post Office spokesman David Walton said, according to

Once the simulated anthrax was found, sirens sounded and the downtown post office was immediately evacuated. Emergency workers moved in quickly to begin the decontamination process.

Regina Holmes was one of dozens of volunteers who helped to add a sense of realism to the proceedings.

"It's deadly right, it's very deadly and it cuts off your respiratory system and the minute it does that your basically out of here," Holmes said, reports. "Organizers say there's a good reason for these types of drills. In 2001, a deadly anthrax powder was actually discovered in a letter at a Washington D.C. Post office."

Emergency officials said that they do not consider a bioterror event a likely scenario in the near future, but if it occurs, they will be ready for it.