Dramatic hazmat training at Klamath Falls theater

Klamath Falls, Ore. – It may have been just an exercise, but high drama unfolded at the Ross Ragland Theater in Klamath Falls as crews responded to a simulated terrorist attack.

In the scenario, an explosion triggers crowd panic during a performance at the Ragland.

Major Adam Lulay of the Oregon Army National Guard explains:  “While they’re exiting the building, it triggered an explosive device, where it exposed a lot of the local population to an unknown substance.”

A robot did an initial search of the building, followed by hazmat crews who searched for additional threats.

Organizers say the theater is an excellent venue for the training.

“The lighting’s different, the familiarity with the location is challenging.”  Notes Major Lulay.  “So it really forces them to slow down and actually see what it is they’re doing.”

Ross Ragland Theater Executive Director Mark McCrary agrees.  “It’s one of the few facilities in town that has the ability to bring hundreds of people together in this basin.”

Local hazmat crews worked with members of the 102nd Civil Support Team out of Salem.

“This kind of training could help the community in ways we had never thought possible.”  Said McCrary, adding the training is a rehearsal for a production that no one hopes will ever be staged:  “I hope it’s the most important performance that nobody is attending this year.”


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