Substance that triggered hazmat response in AnyTown ‘not dangerous’ – WWYD?

HMN – They say hindsight is 20/20.  The names are deleted to protect the innocent.  Not to judge Any Town, but let’s learn from their incident.  For a white powder (we will assume a threatening note is combined) how far will your jurisdiction evacuate?  What about Decon?  What PPE are you wearing?  This call could be in your Any Town – do you have a plan?  If you have had the luxury of running a few WPL’s (white powder letter calls) – what are your standard (don’t give away any secrets) ops?  The circumstances, the witness statements, the emotions, the location… may vary, but the substance, white powder, that is assumed to be ‘worst case’, is still a white powder.  What is the worst case?  When a ‘grain of salt‘ can kill, how to we quickly determine what we are dealing with?  These are not easy, especially if done infrequently.  So let the folks at Any Town encourage you to take a look at your WPL response.  Thoughts appreciated?

According to Any Town News:

Anytown (The local press) — Anytown police said the substance that triggered a massive hazmat response on Monday has been identified and poses no threat.

The incident shut down a city block on Anytown Street nearly the entire day, after an employee at the state Violations Bureau found white powder inside an envelope around 8:43 a.m.

The bureau is part of the Anytown court system, handling over 100,000 traffic violations each year.

Anytown Police Lt. Any Town said the 20 or so employees evacuated the building right away. He said seven employees who came into contact with the powder had to be decontaminated in a tent on site, and then taken to the hospital for observation.

Hazmat crews retrieved the envelope from inside the building and tested the powder.

Police identified the substance, but won’t reveal what it is because their investigation is ongoing.

“At this time, we can say it’s nothing that appears to be dangerous,” said Any Town. “It’s not a weapons of mass destruction of any kind or anthrax or anything that would typically be very dangerous.”

Any Town said detectives were talking to the person who may have sent the envelope, to find out how the powder got inside. Police don’t anticipate any criminal charges.

Any Town said it’s important they take every precaution in these situations.

“With the way things are today and the threats that are out there, we take it seriously and we like to make sure we have enough manpower to handle what it could have potentially been,” Any Town said.

Police said the building has been cleared to re-open on Tuesday.

Original story from WGME

What is your plan for the WPL?  Have a plan and run the incident or the incident will run you.

HazMat FOG Guide

WPL response likely will include Law Enforcement.  Many large cities have Law Enforcement trained for WPL response and several handle without Fire.  If you will have a joint response, perform joint training.

Find other WPL incidents and WPL training here.

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