Department of Highways, District 10
Estill County Maintenance crew participates in mock disaster and training exercise

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, October 26, 2005  
Contact Information:  H.B. ELKINS
(606) 666-8841

JACKSON, KY – (Oct. 26, 2005) – Team members from the Department of Highways Estill County Maintenance crew joined local emergency services personnel and officials from the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) this morning in participating in a mock disaster and training exercise for first responders from Irvine, Ravenna and Estill County.

The Transportation Cabinet employees provided traffic control as emergency personnel responded to a simulated school bus accident on KY 1645 in Estill County near the Irvine-Ravenna border.

"Our employees are often called out to do traffic control and cleanup at accident scenes, fuel spills and other emergency situations," said Linda Wagner-Justice, chief district engineer for District 10, which includes Estill County. "We realize how important it is for emergency responders to be able to do their duty to preserve life and property, so we were happy to participate in today's exercise. This served as good training for our crew members, as well."

In the training exercise, students on an Estill County school bus were overcome by fumes from a chemical leak on a railroad car. A portable decontamination unit was set up near the accident location. Students injured in the crash or made ill by the chemical spill were removed from the bus, decontaminated, and given medical treatment. The most seriously ill and injured were transported by ambulance to Marcum & Wallace Memorial Hospital in Irvine.

The mock disaster was part of a series of local emergency preparedness events held in Estill County today.