Batesville, AK -- Is Independence County ready for a chemical spill? We are about to find out. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the State of Arkansas, Independence County and the City of Batesville will test local response to hazardous materials incidents.
For months, local officials have refined and developed emergency response procedures. Fire, law enforcement, medical staff and industry will join in a two-hour exercise of the plan beginning at 9:00 a.m. September 5. FEMA Region VI will direct the evaluation using a national program developed by FEMA Region VI called Comprehensive Hazmat Emergency Response - Capability Assessment Program (CHER-CAP).
Exercise players are from city, county and state governments, private business, volunteer organizations and FEMA. They include fire, law enforcement, medical staff and the Eastman Chemical Company.
Peer evaluators will evaluate the players' activities. The University of Arkansas Community College of Batesville will provide victims from their paramedic and nursing departments. The public is welcome to observe the exercise at the Independence County Fair Grounds.