KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Clayton Road between Alcoa Trail and Old Knoxville Highway will close from 5-9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28, for a hazardous materials clean-up drill. Blount County first responders will be staging the event in the Clayton-Bradley Academy parking lot, 425 Alcoa Trail.

Alcoa Fire Department Chief Roger Robinson and Deputy Chief Colin Hurst are leading the overall effort. Captain Richie Storie and Lt. Shane Rogers are creating the scenario.

Fire department personnel will be challenged in how they perform incident management as well as how they mitigate a “quickly evolving situation involving hazardous materials,” Storie said.

“We want to evaluate how well Alcoa Fire Department handles the incident management side of it and also how they mitigate multiple hazmat issues,” he said.

Personnel from Maryville Fire Department, Blount County Fire Protection District, Alcoa Police Department, Friendsville Volunteer Fire Department, Blount County Sheriff’s Office, Blount County Rescue Squad, American Medical Response and Blount Memorial Hospital will also be participating. The personnel will be using a unified command with every responding agency present to coordinate their response.

“When you have multiple agencies, you need someone from each agency at the command post so everyone is ‘in the know’ and striving to attain the same goal,” Robinson said.

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Deputy Chief Hurst said these drills are important to develop operational readiness.

“The annual full-scale hazardous materials transportation exercise is a good opportunity for departments to train together and see how other departments are handling different situations and how well they all work together in an emergency response,” he said.

“We also as a department get to see if there is anything we need to improve on from a critique-perspective. That’s the biggest thing.”

The exercise is funded by the 2021 federal Hazardous Materials Equipment Planning Grant administered through the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and the United States Department of Transportation.