66°F

Biological Agent Drill in Essex Junction, Vt.

There was a big emergency response in Essex Junction, Vermont Tuesday but it was all a drill.
ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. - There was a big emergency response in Essex Junction, Vermont Tuesday but it was all a drill.

People prepared in case a letter containing something such as anthrax is found.

Every three years the U.S. Postal Service does these drills. It's part of a stepped up effort since 2001 to prevent something dangerous from arriving in somebody's mailbox.

"It's really important that we practice these emergency systems so that if an actual emergency does happen our employees know how to react to it, as well the first responders," says Melissa Lohnes, USPS.

While all of this is just a drill, Vermont has had several scares.

In February 2012, law enforcement investigated a suspicious letter sent to U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy in Burlington. A similar event at Congressman Peter Welch's Burlington office in 2013 and at Vermont Health Connect in Williston this year.

"In those previous cases, all the tests have come back negative, right?" asked FOX44/ABC22's Matt Austin.

"That's right. So we really haven't had a case in Vermont," says Chris Bell, Director of Office of Public Health Preparedness and Emergency Medical Services, Vermont Department of Health.

Bell says it's important to quickly treat people to prevent the effects of biological agents.

"It ranges from something that makes you feel a little ill to something like anthrax that can kill you," says Bell.

A letter actually containing anthrax was sent to Senator Leahy's Washington office in 2001. It was caught before it reached him.

The letter was one of several containing anthrax sent to congressional members during that time.
Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus

Local Headlines