WMD exercise planned for Laing Middle School Jan. 7

MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - On Friday, January 7, those traveling near the old Laing Middle School, 2213 N. Hwy 17, could see dozens of emergency responders from local law enforcement, EMS, and fire agencies actively engaged in various exercises.

Fire personnel may be seen wearing Level A hazardous materials suits. Eight Mount Pleasant Fire Department staff will join the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Regional Response Team in a full scale exercise including Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Hazmat components. The exercise is expected to begin at 9 am and conclude by 5 pm.

"Residents observing hazmat training activities, bomb teams and fully suited emergency personnel at the former Laing Middle School should not be alarmed." said Mount Pleasant Fire Chief Herb Williams. "Our proximity to the port and major transportation routes could place us at risk for exposure to a wide range of emergency incidents. Our staff is training to respond to and mitigate those incidents. Again, this is only a training exercise and should not create undue alarm."

A Level A Hazmat suit is a garment worn as protection from hazardous materials. It offers the highest protection against vapors, gases, mists, and particles and consists of a fully encapsulating chemical entry suit with a full-face piece self-contained breathing apparatus.

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