Texas National Guard soldiers displayed their skills at dealing with chemical contamination to local officials and media who were invited to Camp Bowie Wednesday.
About a dozen officials from law enforcement, the fire department, Guardian EMS, city and county government and the American Red Cross watched as soldiers with the 436th Chemical Company of Laredo simulated triage and decontamination of fellow soldiers.
Another group of soldiers from a group called the Civil Support Team, or CST, participated in the training. The CST, based in Austin, can be dispatched to communities if local officials request state help in the event of a hazardous material incident involving chemical, biological or radioactive hazards, National Guard officers told their visitors.
At a disaster site, the CST works for the local incident commander, analyzes the hazard and informs medical personnel of the nature of the contamination, the visitors were told.
If necessary, a unit such as the 436th Chemical Company can be sent to the scene to decontaminate victims.
Specialized tents with decontamination materials, communications equipment and specialty vehicles were set up in the training area. Soldiers wearing hazmat suits scurried about, sending fellow soldiers through a decontamination process that included scrubbing and showering.