A meeting was held in Quincy today (Tuesday, Nov. 14) to help emergency officials plan their response to incidents involving the release of hazardous materials.

The event included a tabletop exercise that simulated a toxic chemical spill due to a train collision in Grant County.

Spokesperson Kyle Foreman with the Grant County Sheriff's Office says such meetings and exercises are a requirement of the federal government.

"Our Grant County Emergency Planning Committee is part of the SARA (Scanning, Analysis, Response, and Assessment) Title II federal act which requires that any community that has chemical or hazardous materials facilities also have regular meetings to discuss the hazards of having those plants nearby."

The exercise was hosted by the Grant County Emergency Planning Committee which is managed by Grant County Sheriff’s Emergency Management Division.

Foreman says the proceedings will help Grant County be better prepared in the event of an actual hazardous materials emergency.

"It was an opportunity for people to discuss things and deconflict policies and response procedures and plan for the best possible outcomes. We walked away with a list of things that we learned from it and that we hope to improve in the future, that way if we do have a real train accident like the one we simulated in Grant County, the bets possible response will happen."

The exercise included representatives and participation from local fire and law enforcement agencies, emergency dispatch and medical services, the railroad, and National Weather Service, as well as local industries, public health, and hospitals.

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