Local emergency agencies participate in hazmat training
RAPID CITY, S.D. – Several local health and emergency agencies joined forces for hazmat training in Rapid City on Thursday. Hazmat stands for hazardous materials, which can pose a danger to the public.
Emergency trucks lined the perimeter of Storybook Island, as crews suited up in search of hazardous materials. Thursday’s training focused on toxic chemicals, gases and explosives.
Rapid City and Pennington County Emergency Management organize the training, and they train up to four times each year. This gives all the agencies the opportunity to work together and be on the same page if a chemical or explosive incident occurs in the area.
“They take down all sorts of equipment to measure different chemicals in the air, different liquids they might find. They take samples and they analyze samples through a whole host of different tools to try to narrow down what might be there,” says Dustin Willett, the Director of Emergency Management.
Hazardous substances and materials are all around us, being used in the cars we drive and cleaning agents we use in our homes. For the most part, if used correctly, these substances aren’t a major threat to us. They become hazardous when misused.
“We just need to make sure that our first responders are trained and capable to mitigate a release or a hazardous material involved incident safely and efficiently and quickly to keep the public safe,” says Willett.