The Kansas National Guard held a joint training exercise at Guard headquarters Wednesday.
The Kansas National Guard's 73rd Civil Support Team conducted the day long joint training exercise along with the Nebraska National Guard's 72nd Civil Support Team and the FBI Hazardous Response Team.
The mock emergency started with a phone call describing what is called a "white powder scenario." The powder was to simulate ricin which is a highly toxic and fatal substance.
"So, there are employees that have opened envelopes with white powder. The area has been evacuated," said Major Robert Cole, Commander with Kansas National Guard.
Dressed in full HAZMAT suits, Kansas and Nebraska Guardsmen checked doorways for hazardous materials and communicated with Civil Support Teams in outdoor trailers.
"We have a white piece of paper with a brown powder next to an envelope," said a guardsman dressed in a HAZMAT suit.
"You have permission to take the sample of the powder," said a guardsmen from the communication trailer.
"We try to figure out what the substance is and what I do is model a plum for the chemical in case it is released," said Michael Ramos with the National Guard,
The goal is to keep citizens safe in case a HAZMAT situation like this arises.
"We need to be prepared. Stuff happens like this everyday and in case in the real world something like this does happen we are prepared," said Ramos.
"Because you know the threat is out there and we need to make sure we are prepared for it here in this country and Topeka," said Cole.
Although situations similar to this one are rare, the mock
exercise emphasizes the need for public safety personnel
to be better safe than sorry.