Haz-Mat Call Out Provides Great Training

Valdosta's Haz-Mat crew got an exercise in real world training Tuesday, when they were called to investigate a suspicious situation downtown.

Parts of downtown Valdosta were closed as crews responded to the call. The incident turned out to be non-threatening, and the downtown area was re-opened a few hours later.

Emergency response leaders say it served as a great real-world training exercise for fire fighters. The Lowndes County government building in downtown Valdosta was evacuated after a strange odor was noticed on the ground floor.

Those people were treated at the scene and no one was seriously injured. The building was evacuated and the roads around it were closed, while Haz-Mat crews searched the building and conducted air quality tests.

Those tests didn't reveal any real danger, but firefighters say this call was a great exercise to keep them ready to deal with any situation in the future.

Downtown business owners say they are comforted, knowing emergency response crews are fully trained for, these kinds of situations. And more of these threats could occur in downtown because so many government buildings are located there. Shop owners say they aren't worried though, because those highly trained crews are nearby.

And crews did not find any dangerous substances in the building, and it was re-opened early Tuesday afternoon.