GREENSBORO, N.C.– Emergency Management Division Director Don Campbell said he’s confident Guilford County would be ready, if there were a large-scale disaster situation similar to this week’s tragedies in Boston and West, Texas.
“We learn something new from every big event, whether it’s an event here in town or the event is in Boston or Texas. We’re watching those incidents, learning from it and adjusting our plans on a regular basis,” Campbell said.
Campbell said the three Hazmat teams, one for the county and one for Greensboro and High Point, respectively, are required 36 hours of training and practice to keep their certification.
Those exercises can be in the form of tabletop discussions and action plan adjustments, to full practice reenactments using contractors.
“Those are definitely the ones that are grant funded because, none of our agency budgets have got that kind of money in them,” Campbell said.
In addition to training exercises, emergency management holds the chemical and hazardous information of 415 companies in Guilford County in a database, which are constantly maintained.
“We maintain a database of all of those agencies or all those companies that have hazardous materials, to make sure that our first responders have access to that information should there be an incident,” Campbell said.
Campbell said the way in which they address a Hazmat situation or disaster is case-by-case, and depends on the chemical for proper evacuation techniques.