WALSENBURG- Sherry Duran had a really bad Friday morning last week. She was hit by a train, trapped in a car with a dead guy, and her first would-be rescuers were all overcome by toxic gas. No matter how loudly she screamed, nobody else would go near her.
At least everything was going according to plan. Duran was the central actress in a multi-agency drill for Huerfano County’s emergency services.
You had to imagine the train, but Duran’s car was right in the middle of Main Street when the page went out that it had been struck by a train which then began leaking sulfuric acid. Police officers arrived on scene first, recognized the situation and called for HazMat teams. The Huerfano County Fire Department and ambulance rolled up on scene and established a zone downwind of the incident (assuming the town was bisected by the wreck) and began to don their HazMat gear. Police and City workers cordoned off roads and began notifying people about a pretend evacuation. The County courthouse was indeed evacuated for fifteen minutes, interrupting court cases.
All this took time, and Duran sat screaming for help for a half hour before the first suited rescuer was able to reach her, and it took another half hour before all the players were pulled out and decontaminated. By 11 am, the scene was cleaned up and the exercise was over, and Walsenburg returned to normal.