Members of the New Mexico 64th WMD Civil Support Team recently conducted HazMat training at the Hunter Power Plant.
After a safety briefing, military personnel were given a tour of the plant. Most had not been in a working power plant of this size. The scenario for the exercise was an 8000 gallon sulfuric acid spill with local HazMat resources exhausted. Another element of the exercise was a HazMat technician down requiring decontamination.
Members of these Civil Support Teams generally focus on CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, explosive) response and had to switch gears to focus on a HazMat spill. In a real-life event, this type of team from the military would be called on to assist locals. They do not come to take over the scene and assume command, but rather to assist and manage the incident. This exercise was a great opportunity to involve private industry in emergency response and to provide a unique training environment for the military team.
The exercise was planned by Captain Kyle Ekker, Emery County Emergency Manager and coordinated by plant safety administrator Les Thompson and plant manager Laren Huntsman.