New Decontamination Equipment for Burleson County

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There was no disaster in Caldwell Friday, but it sure looked like it. Burleson County Emergency Management officials were conducting a hazardous material drill.

An explosion happens at Caldwell High School's science lab at 1:30 p.m. Students are immediately evacuated. Some have to be rushed to the hospital for serious injuries and burns.

This was only a drill, but Burleson County Emergency Management wanted to make it as real as possible for first responders and hospital staff.

" We need to test our capabilities and take notes and make corrections where needed," said Brian Prescott, Burleson County's Emergency Management Coordinator.

The purpose of the drill was to test some new decontamination equipment at Burleson St Joseph hospital. Crews worked together to set up the equipment outside the hospital where they cleaned patients exposed to chemicals during the explosion. Then patients were taken inside the hospital for observation.

" It's giving our staff a chance to work with the equipment and to be prepared should we have such an event in our community to be able to take care of our patients appropriately," said Ginger Braly, Burelson St. Joseph Trauma Coordinator.

Back at the school, fire fighters put out the flames and made sure the building was cleared. Paramedics cared for those less seriously injured at the scene. And although it was just a drill, officials say this explosion was good preparation for the real thing.