EAST LIVERPOOL - A "white powder event" is expected to take place Saturday morning on Sixth Street, bringing out the regional hazmat team to control the mock situation.
Fire Chief Bill Jones said Sixth Street will be blocked to traffic from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday from Jackson Street to Peach Alley so the graded drill can take place.
The county health department is hosting the drill and has paid to bring in an evaluator who will grade the hazmat team on how well it does handling what, in the real world, could be a deadly event involving such substances as anthrax.
"Like any drill, we will find our weak spots and our strong spots and (once completed) will work to get better where we need to get better," Jones said.
The drill will actually take place in City Hall, where the team will respond as though a suspicious substance has been found inside the building, putting those who work there and those who visit there at risk.
Prior to the drill, the team will go through a briefing at Central Fire Station, Jones said.
The regional hazmat team is composed of the city fire department's 12 firefighters and another 17 from Chester, Lawrenceville, Newell and New Manchester volunteer departments in West Virginia.
This will be the second evaluation the team has experienced, having received high marks for a drill performed at the Ergon plant in Hancock County, W.Va., according to Jones.
One drill annually is part of the stipulations for a grant secured for the team's operations.