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Just a Drill

By Staff | Mar 14, 2014

Estherville Fire Department firefighters inflated a portable decontamination unit that emergency responders later used to hose down after performing a recovery exercise last Saturday at Asmus Farm Supply. Photo by Michael Tidemann

Agencies learn how to deal with insecticide spill

Asmus Farm Supply in southeast Estherville was a pretty busy place last Saturday morning when area emergency personnel took part in a hazardous materials drill.

Those taking part were fire departments from Estherville, Spirit Lake, Gruver, Ringsted, Wallingford and Armstrong along with Estherville Ambulance and Wallingford First Responders. Other agencies taking part were Emmet County Public Health, Emmet County Environmental Health, Estherville Police Department, Iowa State Patrol, Avera Holy Family Hospital, North Central Region Hazardous Materials Response Team from Mason City and Asmus Farm Supply which provided the location for the exercise.

Terry Reekers, Emmet County Emergency Management coordinator, said 80-90 participants took part “which was huge.”

Reekers said the North Central Region Hazardous Materials Response Team is funded by 18 member counties.

“We are very happy that they came,” said Reekers.

According to the mock disaster scenario, a hazardous insecticide spill occurred. In reviewing the response, Reekers said, “Not everything went perfectly – which we expected.”

However, Reekers said he was pleased with how the various agencies worked together.

“I was very proud of everybody that was there,” said Reekers. “If it ever happens we’ve got to be able to work together.”