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Emergency crews practice 3-day drill in Idaho Falls

By Stephanie Hale-Lopez
Published On: Apr 09 2013 07:38:22 PM CDT

Nearly 10 agencies are conducting an emergency response exercise that will last throughout the week, as an opportunity to work together.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

If you saw emergency vehicles and personnel on Rollandet Street in Idaho Falls Tuesday afternoon, no need to worry -- it's not what you think.

Nearly 10 agencies are conducting an emergency response exercise that will last throughout the week, as an opportunity to work together.

The agencies are given a realistic scenario and they have to react in real-time.

Inside a quiet home near Tautphaus Park, a local hazmat crew scans the home for chemical fumes after finding what appears to be a meth lab.

"Meth is a definite problem within our community," said Capt. Royce Clements with the Idaho Falls Police Department.

It is, of course, just an exercise. Part of a 3-day-long drill that has multiple agencies like police, firefighters, the bomb squad, even homeland security working together.

"This is a great opportunity for all agencies involved to come out, set up their stuff, make sure it works and make sure it works with everyone else's equipment," said Rob Hall, local firefighter.

The home is actually owned by the Idaho Falls Police Department and used for training.

Today's scenario revolves around the discovery of a meth lab and explosives in the house -- things cops said they deal with all too often.

"We have a lot of people that use meth, sell meth, those kinds of things; and those people tend to be involved in other criminal activity as well," said Clements.

Evaluators are monitoring the drill from the site and said the scenario will escalate and get more complex as the days go by.   

"I'm going to be watching how we set up, how we make entry, how we do our jobs," said Hall. "I want to identify areas where we can train to become better at it."

On average, these crews get about 4 hours of training a month, so they said the chance to have a 72-hour drill is priceless.

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