GMC News

Students Experience Hazmat Drill Some 8th graders learned first-hand about destructive chemicals that could be under their kitchen sink. Students at the Georgia Military College stepped out of the classroom and into a hazmat suit for their first hands-on drill. “We’ve had a lot of really good questions. I think some of them realize that this kind of realm is a lot more in-depth than they would have previously thought,” says hazmat team member Brandon Barth. Members of the team say many of the kids didn’t realize just what could happen when some household chemicals mix together. “I was thinking, ‘hopefully I don’t go home and mess up anything because I really don’t know how to deal with it, so hopefully nothing bad happens,'” says 8th grader Joanna Barksdale. Barth says cleaning up after a chemical spill is complicated. “The individual would come from the hot zone and step into the first decontamination pool and we’d have suited up protected firefighters on either side with the sprayers,” he says. He says someone being decontaminated has to go through three different pools, but students thought it would be much simpler. “Actually seeing it made it clearer to me how much work has to be done and how dangerous it is. It’s just, once you see it, you believe it.” Says Barksdale. The hazmat team warned students to not mix chemicals that they’re unsure of, and never dump unknown liquids down the drain. They say once it’s spilled the cleanup is hard. Students say getting their hands dirty is the best way to learn. Leigh Scott is the school’s temporary physical science teacher. She says the drill is the first of its kind there. She contacted the hazmat team after students started asking questions about it.