It's a worst case scenario that is tough to prepare for: a radioactive or nuclear spill. But now, Marshall County has a team that learned how to act if that crisis unfolds.
It was the first class of its kind in the state of West Virginia put on by the state's division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management along with the division of Military Affairs and Public Safety in Morgantown.
The class taught law enforcement, fire, EMS, public health and emergency management officials how to deal with radioactive and nuclear incidents whether it be a traffic accident involving a vehicle carrying something radioactive or even an actual terrorist attack. The mission was to teach responders how to protect themselves and those involved.
"This is something we've been looking forward to try and get training on this," said Tom Hart, Director of the Marshall County Office of Emergency Management. "These type of training classes are very difficult to bring in, especially into West Virginia and into our region. One of this things is it brings the awareness level up for the first responders and those who may be dealing with a radiological incident or a nuclear incident."
Hart also said that the northern panhandle is actually in the emergency zone of the Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station in Pennsylvania so they went over what could happen if the station suffered a meltdown. Hart said in the future there are hopes to expand the class to hands on training out in the field.
The only thing holding back the expansion currently is funding. Hart said that military personnel were supposed to attend the class as well but couldn't due to a funding cut.