Instead, Bel Brands had been chosen as the spot for a chemical spill drill performed by local emergency management officials May 10.
The Grayson County Emergency Management Office conducted the drill Saturday to meet its requirement for one such emergency exercise each year to prepare the county in the event of a disaster.
Agencies involved in the exercise were those from fire and rescue, the Grayson County jail, EMS, the E-911 office, local law enforcement, public works, and facility response personnel.
After a needs assessment in January of this year, the following concerns were noted.
The county emergency operations plan needed to be validated and responses by multi-agency to disasters needed to be tested.
That is why a chemical release scenario of anhydrous ammonia was performed.
In the scenario individuals were exposed to the chemical, and the facility needed assistance from local response agencies.
A decontamination drill was performed, and injured and decontaminated individuals were transported to the local hospital.
Area five emergency management members from surrounding counties also participated in the simulated exercise.
Each agency had a list of duties to perform.
Emergency Management established an incident command, appointed the section chief, identified a safety officer, and made proper notification.
The public information officer established a joint information system, distributed information to media, and set up a press center area.
Some of law enforcement’s duties included maintaining radio discipline, follow command and control procedures, establish traffic control, and provide security.
The fire department set up a proper staging area, established operational control, perform decontamination in a timely fashion, and control hazardous material operations.
Personnel at the Bel Brands plant had to protect their employees on site, assure the leak was secured, and determine entry times for responders.