The former Stroh's Brewery Site in the Piedmont Triad Industrial Complex in Winston-Salem will be transformed into a hazardous materials disaster site.

The Forsyth County Office of Emergency Management is coordinating a mock disaster drill on Thursday, December 12 to help train dozens of emergency responders and public agency officials from throughout the state. They will test equipment, communication systems and safety plans.

“None of the individuals involved have any idea on what will occur, so there are a lot of fundamentals and things they have to learn. We will do air monitoring, sampling and what we call dressing out where they will have to use moon suits, so there will be a lot of different things taking place,” says August Vernon, operations officer for the Forsyth County Office of Emergency Management.

Vernon says the exercise will be one of the biggest hazardous materials disaster drills in the state.

“Due to the amount of hazardous materials that travels up and down the interstates and is produced in industry, we feel that we need to focus on a hazardous materials incident. Because of the size, scope and scale, the drill is larger and the fact that we will have aircraft involved with it, we felt like the public should know why there are helicopters and airplanes flying around over a neighborhood or certain area. That is all part of the drill,” says Vernon.

The training exercise is not open to the general public. The hazardous materials disaster drill will take place Thursday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at 90 Piedmont Industrial Drive.

For questions, call the Office of Emergency Management at 767-6161

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