Ky. first responders take part in training drill for chemical weapons stockpile worst-case scenario

Ky. first responders take part in training drill for chemical weapons stockpile worst-case scenario
Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 12:01 PM EDT
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MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - First responders took part in an exercise to prepare for a possible emergency in Madison County.

The Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program, or C-SEPP, has been around since 1989. The program is in response to a what-if scenario involving the chemical weapons stockpile that’s located at the Blue Grass Army Depot.

Through a mandate from Congress, exercises like this have taken place on at least an annual basis. Every year there’s a plan put into action to prepare for the worst-case scenario. The exercise is part of a local, state and federal partnership.

“Test our plan, our procedures, to be sure what is written, that we follow that. And we have the successful outcome that we expect. And if don’t, we utilize that to improve from there,” said Dustin Hines, Madison County Emergency Management.

Seven different locations, from the madison County EOC to nursing homes and the hospital were part of the exercise. Even Jacobson Park was a location, where decontamination tents were set up for first responders to help people, essentially actors playing the part of chemical victims.

About 40 people from 11 different counties participated in the program in Madison County on Wednesday.

The chemical weapons at Blue Grass Army Depot were ordered to be destroyed in 1985 but the process only started more recently. The last of them are scheduled to be destroyed by September 2023.