GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) If a dangerous chemical were to leak in the area, local hospitals will already be familiar with how to respond.
Community and St. Mary's Hospitals along with the VA Medical Center and Family Health West teamed up for Friday's hazardous materials training.
Actors pretended to be victims of a train derailment that let dangerous chemicals loose. They were sent to the four medical centers for symptoms ranging from respiratory to heart problems as a result of chemical exposure.
"My character was to have a closeness of a heart attack with my heart compressing and shortness of breath," said Mark Oxford, who was one of 26 actors from Collbran Job Corps.
Community Hospital staff set up a hazmat tent to take care of mock patients, while some even suited up to practice decontaminating victims.
Although individual hospitals do their own training frequently, full-scale exercises like Friday's are only done every couple of years.
"When bad things happen, you have a lot of good people that are willing to come and assist and respond," said Dr. Marc Breen, of Community Hospital. "A lot of times it's just a matter of making sure those resources can be utilized appropriately and not get in the way."
Emergency room doctors said coordinated training scenarios are important because if disaster were to strike Mesa County, all local medical centers would get involved to help.
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