U.S. Army Uses Utah High School for Disaster Drill


Jewel Punzalan Allen
Deseret News
September 17, 2009

[efoods]Rick Spencer saw his share of emergencies as athletic trainer at Salt Lake City’s Highland High School — but never gas inhalation.

On Wednesday, Spencer gave first aid to “victims” of a “lab explosion” at Tooele High School as part of the annual Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program drill.

Greg Mahall, public-affairs chief of the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency, said the high school was one of three Tooele locations that staged mock drills, an annual operation which involved more than 600 people and several agencies from Tooele, Salt Lake and Utah counties.

In one morning, three mock disasters struck Tooele simultaneously: A truck crashed into a vehicle carrying mustard agent, resulting in fire, the scattering of cattle, and a town’s evacuation; the county experienced a 5.5 magnitude earthquake; and the high-school lab blew up.

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