Some Wisconsin hospital workers received a sobering first-hand glimpse into what dealing with a large-scale disaster might look like.
Several members from Saint Mary's emergency preparedness team, plus members from other Wisconsin hospitals, traveled to Alabama to take part in a FEMA drill featuring realistic recreations of emergency scenarios.
In the drill students had to deal with a subway that became contaminated with chemicals.
Instructors say this kind of training is critical.
"It’s very easy to teach the theory in a classroom, but until you actually execute that theory and reinforce that knowledge and skills and the natural complexities that come with an event," said Mike King, acting superintendent at the Center for Domestic Preparedness.
Actors were used in the mock scenario that featured about 140 workers from hospitals all over the country taking part.