SLIDESHOW -- Jeffersonville, Clarksville fire depts. simulate - WDRB 41 Louisville News

SLIDESHOW -- Jeffersonville, Clarksville fire depts. simulate hazmat situation

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JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- The Jeffersonville and Clarksville fire departments worked together Monday morning on a simulated hazardous materials situation.

It involved someone trying to steal chemicals from a railroad tanker.  But that person soon became a simulated victim who was overcome by the chemicals he was trying to steal.

It's all part of an effort to establish a county-wide hazmat team, as Dep. Chief Bruce DeArk of the Jeffersonville Fire Dept. explains: "It's important for this area because of all the rail and truck traffic that comes through this area and also the river traffic. We have a lot of hazardous materials that come through the area."

DeArk also said some of those materials are used in meth labs, which is why that was part of Monday's scenario.  Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore attended the simulation and said, "The situations that have been created by meth and the troubles that are caused by it are very real.  And we take this very seriously and we'll be ready is something should arise."

This type of training is something the departments try to do at least once a year.  "We train constantly on these situations," DeArk said, "but to this scale, it's a one time a year deal."  He said the simulation went well and praised the firefighters who worked in the heat.  The Red Cross was on hand to make sure firefighters had plenty of water. 

"This is a side that most of the community doesn't get to see," Mayor Moore said, "and it takes some dedicated individuals to be ready and I feel secure knowing that we're doing the measures to put things in place."

The CSX Railroad, Louisville and Indiana Railroad, and the Red Cross also took part in the exercise.

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