Emergency management officials say it was the largest exercise of its kind in state history; more than 1,000 people were involved in cleanup from a staged chemical explosion at the base of Mount Brighton in Livingston County.
Lenawee, Hillsdale, Shiawassee, Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, Jackson, Gratiot, and Livingston counties participated. Health departments, hospitals, police, fire, and emergency communications were put the test when a group of over a 100 volunteers simulated injuries that might result from a chemical spill of methyl cyanide, a common toxin used in pharmaceuticals and perfumes, among other things.
They set up a triage on scene, and also transported victims to hospitals to test medical personnel. Livingston EMS Supervisor John Waters says they found holes in communication and are looking forward to analyzing what they can do better. Both Waters and outgoing Brighton Police Chief Mike Kinaschuk say the teams did better than they expected.
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