Training for the worst-case scenarios

About 30 public safety officials participated in a hazardous materials training exercise Wednesday on the grounds of two Paso Robles wineries.

Members of the San Luis Obispo County Regional Hazardous Materials Response Team practiced dealing with spills, mysterious packages and other scenarios, said Clint Bullard, County/Cal Fire public information officer.

“Everything we’d find in a real-world hazardous materials situation, we’re practicing here today,” Bullard said, noting that this year’s training drill was larger than in previous years. “It’s an opportunity for all the departments involved to practice before a real emergency should take place.”

Most of Wednesday’s exercise was on the grounds of Robert Hall Winery, located on Mill Road off Highway 46 East, with some staging occurring at the nearby Mitchella Vineyard & Winery. The exercise lasted from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

According to Bullard, participating agencies included the Atascadero, Paso Robles and Templeton fire departments, County/Cal Fire, the FBI, the Atascadero State Hospital Fire Department, the California Men’s Colony Fire Department and the Sheriff’s Department’s Bomb Task Force.

The San Luis Obispo Department of Public Health also assisted in some endeavors, Bullard said.

— Sarah Linn