North Lincoln Fire Rescue (NLFR) Safety Officer Jim Kusz invited members of the media to a “secret” event that had emergency personnel recruits serve as injured victims. The actors were playing a game of basketball when an unknown “assailant” threw a bottle of an unidentified liquid that caused massive symptoms of a poisonous and potentially contagious spill.
Emergency crews, realizing the potential dangers, called in the highly specialized Oregon State Regional HAZMAT Team 13, based out of Salem. The team quickly established a corridor that washed and treated the victims.
The mobile lab in the HAZMAT trailer is able to test the hazardous material and determine its makeup.
The drill tested the readiness of Central Oregon Coast agencies and NLFR first responders who have been practicing deployment in the critical minutes following a hazardous-material event.
The Siletz Charitable Contribution Fund provides NLFR $8,000 in a matching grant to purchase $16,000 in decontamination equipment, Level B HAZMAT suits and other materials.
The drill was planned with other agencies, including HAZMAT Team 13, which responds after initial rescue of victims, decontamination and transportation of critical patients has occurred.
Other agencies participating were Lincoln City Police, Oregon State Police, Depoe Bay Fire District, Nestucca Rural Fire Protection District, Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital, Pacific West Ambulance and Lincoln City Community Center staff.