Emergency responders practice disaster scenarios - WFXS, MyFoxWausau - News and Weather for Wausau, WI

Emergency responders practice disaster scenarios

MARSHFIELD (WAOW) - Emergency responders in Marshfield spent hours on Thursday preparing for potential disaster situations.

The exercise simulated four runaway train cars carrying toxic chemicals colliding with a school bus. High school students pretending to be trapped inside the school bus plastered on fake blood for a realistic touch.

The script called for chemicals leaking everywhere, contaminating the students and residents nearby.

"What we tried to do was make our situation realistic for everyone involved," said Marshfield Deputy Fire Chief Craig DeGrand.

Coordinators say during emergency situations, first responders have a lot of elements to juggle.

"They are tasked with a lot of things when they get there, try to contain an area that's rather dangerous and maybe often times still unfolding, not certain that we know exactly what happened, not exactly certain of what may happen, and to approach it from that perspective," said Marshfield Police Lt. Darren Larson.

"If we we're to have a real event or a real disaster we're a little bit prepared for what may or could happen," added DeGrand.

Marshfield is home to a very large railroad system, another reason first responders say this type of scenario is a good one to practice.

"We learn from these, we get better when we do this, these are the type of situations we want to make mistakes, we want to learn from those mistakes and try to apply maybe a better approach," said Larson.

Officials say the training exercise went as they expected, and they plan to improve on the areas they found inconsistencies in.

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