WMD Training Set For Saturday

Firefighting agencies in Stanislaus County will be conducting an exercise Saturday, simulating a weapon of mass destruction incident to better prepare themselves.

About 150 firefighting personnel will be participating in several undisclosed locations throughout the county, including a school, a warehouse and a wildland environment.

The exercise will include a search and rescue, a WMD and hazardous materials incident, a building fire and a wildfire.

The exercise also will cover required annual training for firefighters to maintain certification to respond to statewide emergencies.

"With Stanislaus County located only a few hours away from many large metropolitan areas, it's not a question of if we are going to respond to a major incident, but when," said Modesto Fire Division Chief Mike Kraus.

"The purpose of this training exercise is to enhance our firefighters' knowledge so they can do their job safely, not only in a wildland fire environment but an all-risk environment." The exercise is funded by a federal Department of Homeland Security grant.