La Crosse hazmat team trains for chemical, biological incidents

54th Civilian Support Team from Madison trained with La Crosse team

The La Crosse Fire Department Hazmat Team held a joint training exercise with the 54th Civilian Support Team from Madison on Wednesday morning.

The Fire Department said the goal of the training was to offer an opportunity for both agencies to work together to solve unique chemical and biological incidents.

The 54th Civilian Support Team specializes in those types of incidents.

The groups trained near the Green Island Ice arena and South 7th Street in La Crosse with the scenario that white powder was found at an ice rink that’s caused a group of people to become ill. Crews were called in to determine what the substance is and if that caused the illnesses.

“We try to make it as realistic as possible, so we would come in support of a hazmat team like La Crosse, and having worked together in exercises like this make real-world events go that much smoother,” said Joseph Davison, deputy commander  of the 54th Civil Support Team.

“We recognize that although they’re rare, any of the biological or terrorist domestic terrorist threats that occur across the country. They do happen and we need to be ready,” said Jeff Schott, captain of the La Crosse Fire Department Hazmat Team.