National Guard Soldiers Train at HAMMER for Chemical Disaster - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

National Guard Soldiers Train at HAMMER for Chemical Disaster Response

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RICHLAND, Wash.-- In case of a state emergency, Washington's National Guard needs to be prepared for the worst.

Guard soldiers from across the state trained at the HAMMER facility in Richland Wednesday to simulate a chemical disaster response.

A chemical disaster scenario with fake blood and hazmat suits played out during Wednesday's National Guard training exercise at HAMMER.

As a part of the Homeland Response Force soldiers and airmen set up an emergency response base to test their skills.

Volunteers with gory makeup served as chemical disaster victims that soldiers took through the decontamination process.

Guard members sprayed victims down with water and tested them with devices, walking them through a series of stations to simulate victim recovery.

"It's a context rich environment. In other words, we get a story to operate within. That allows us to then apply a judgment because you develop a skill. You develop it through knowing how to do it and then you have to put it in context to a story so you understand how to apply it," said Col. James Rollins, Homeland Response Force.

At least twice a year, more than 500 Homeland Response Force soldiers come together for state emergency training.

Washington's force can deploy within 6 to 12 hours to respond to incidents in our state, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.

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