News: 92nd CST responds to Vigilant Guard
Story by Sgt. Crystal Reidy
PHOENIX – The Nevada National Guard’s 92nd Civil Support Team responded to a possible chlorine leak at a chemical plant as part of the Vigilant Guard training exercise here on Nov. 4.
The 22-person detachment, comprised of Army and Air Force National Guard members, responded to the Hills Brother Chemical Plant to investigate a chlorine leak in two general locations. Chlorine typically has an artificial odor and is a significant inhalation hazard.
“Today we are looking at a possible leak, it could be as simple as turning a valve, patching a cylinder and evacuating the area,” said Maj. David Sellen, commander of the 92nd CST (WMD).
“Our goals are to mitigate the concerns so the plant can get back to their normal operations,” he said.
Julie Tennyson, the Hills Brothers Chemical Plant operations manager, says the plant has hosted hazardous material training three to four times a year for the last five years. She said Vigilant Guard is the biggest exercise they have participated in to date.
“Vigilant Guard has been a great exercise for civil authorities and local business to see how each other reacts in case of an emergency,” Tennyson said. “We have been a member of this neighborhood since 1969 so we want to keep our neighbors safe.”
The exercise comprised of 45 minute drills with a four-person survey team in full personal protection gear. The team monitors the air quality and takes samples to be handed over to the onsite laboratory to get instant results.
“The results can be provided to medical personal to treat people who are affected and determine what medications they need for patents showing symptoms of chemical exposure,” Sellen said.
The 92nd CST (WMD) has participated in Vigilant Guard exercises every year since 2008, Sellen said. When the unit supports another state, it is their chance to learn from them, he said.
“Our CST is here to learn on how to better develop our collective tasks tactics and techniques,” Sullen said. “This is our chance to learn how to best integrate with different states,” he said.