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Emergency Responders Train at Local Elementary School

Chris Ford

The Tallahassee Fire Department, along with other law enforcement and emergency response agencies, tested themselves with a mock chemical explosion and a bomb scare Friday. Officials were focused this time on emergency responses at schools.

At Canopy Oaks Elementary School, the Leon County Sheriff’s Department, the Big Bend Regional Bomb Squad and other groups worked together to locate and eliminate a pretend bomb. Fire Department spokesman Mike Bellamy said the exercise gave all of the groups a chance to work together while training to deal with chemical weapons and explosives.

“You develop trust. You develop credibility with one another. You get a chance to see what capabilities we all have. And most importantly, you just get some face time. You get an opportunity to know each other and know how to reach out,” said Bellamy.

Recent events like the Newtown school shooting and the Boston Marathon bombing reinforce the need for emergency responders. Bellamy said inclusion of a chemical explosion in the exercise is required because of the frequency of these types of events.