The North Georgia Fair Grounds at Legion Drive in Dalton were abuzz with police and fire activity on Thursday morning. Fortunately, there was no emergency. Instead, the Fair Grounds were the site of Whitfield County's annual full-scare Hazardous Materials Disaster Drill.
The Dalton Police Department and Dalton Fire Department participated in the exercise, along with the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office, Whitfield County Fire Department, Public Health, Whitfield County Emergency Management, Whitfield County EMS, local governments and school systems.
In the exercise, responders were dispatched to the Fair Grounds to respond to a chemical spill with injuries. Dalton Police officers were first on scene and set up a perimeter. Dalton Fire then responded and evacuated "victims" – JROTC students from Dalton – and set up a decontamination station to simulate decontaminating them. Then, the "victims" were evaluated and evacutated by Whitfield EMS.
Drills like Thursday morning's exercise are useful because they have members of different emergency agencies work together so they'll be ready to coordinate with each other in the event of an actual emergency.
“Our community partners have been working together for
years to prepare for disaster, whether it be natural or man-made,” Whitfield County EMA director Claude Craig
said. “These exercises provide us opportunities to test areas of our plans
that haven't already been addressed. We can then see where the weaknesses are
and begin resolving them.”
Below: Images from Thursday morning's exercise (to see more pictures from the drill, click here to view a gallery on the DPD Facebook page)