Georgia hospital conducts disaster drill for potential attack at the Masters

Hazmat teams in Augusta, Georgia, recently conducted a bioagent decontamination exercise at the state's health sciences university.

The drill was conducted in order to prepare procedures for the Georgia Health Sciences University Hospital to respond to an anthrax attack during the nearby Masters Golf Tournament, according to

"It can overwhelm a hospital in a matter of minutes," Wes Davidson, a member of one of decontamination teams, said, reports.

The drill began with a call that a truck was seen spraying a white powder onto patrons. The hospital's hazmat teams immediately mobilized and began the 20 minute process of suiting up in full hazmat gear, including a body suit and breathing apparatus with a closed hood.

The gear is hot and heavy. Most responders can only stay in the suit for approximately 30 minutes before taking a break. As soon as the crews were ready, they moved potential victims of the attack into a series of decontamination showers that had been erected outside the hospital.

"The idea being you don't want to have patients contaminated going into the hospital," U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Dan Neff said, reports.

Neff, who was on hand to observe the drill, said that anything can happen during an emergency situation.

"Preparedness is key," Neff said, according to "It's a come as you are party in an emergency; there's no time to do training or do anything but respond."