Freeborn County “Back on Track” exercises prepare for hazardous situations

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ALBERT LEA, Minn (FOX47) – First responders are typically prepared for what to do in times of severe weather, but other situations may leave rescuers less ready. Situations like a hazardous material train derailment.

That’s what responders across Freeborn county are preparing for with their “Back on Track” exercise.

The exercise helps different agencies and groups test their emergency plans and procedures as well as identify strengths and weaknesses.

Railroad tracks run-through Albert Lea, Alden, Clarks Grove and Glenville, among communities; making it important for emergency responders to be ready should disaster strike.

In the hypothetical scenario, a cement truck hits a train carrying ethanol, derails it and causes a fire. Several state and national agencies were brought in to help and figure out what to do next.

Sheriff Kurt Freitag says it’s important to bring different resources in to help prepare for unique situations such as evacuation buses to get people away from the disaster scene.

The exercise is part of “increased emergency preparedness” for Freeborn county.

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