The Midwest City Fire Department partnered with the military Wednesday to prepare for hazmat emergencies.
The group worked a drill, responding to a simulated scenario of a tornado hitting a manufacturing warehouse, spilling dangerous chemicals.
Firefighters and soldiers suited up to survey the situation and keep the spill contained.
“We're calling the 63rd CSD to come out and assist with us, and so they bring out their units, and then we learn from the operation,” Midwest City Fire Major David Richardson said.
The military hazmat team, 63rd Civil Support Team, is made up of men and women from the Army and National Guard.
Midwest City Fire was the first team in the metro to train with the special military unit.
“We work together to find this joint ability to mitigate the situation and try to find out how we can help each other in a real-life situation in the future,” Richardson said.
If a major chemical spill were to happen, the military support team would likely suit up along with local firefighters.
“We don't want to meet for the first time on an actual emergency call. So, integrating and knowing the shifts, how they operate, how we operate, makes it a lot easier to actually respond in a real-world incident,” Army Captain Mitchell Bledsoe said of the exercise.
According to Richardson, a real-world incident is quite possible in Midwest City.
“We have a major rail line that comes through Midwest City. We have I-40 that carries over 60,000 cars a day through Midwest City. So, there are other opportunities we may need them,” Richardson said.