SERGEANT BLUFF, Iowa (KCAU) — Siouxland emergency crews got a hands-on lesson to prepare for an emergency situation they hope to never encounter.

Wednesday, Woodbury County Hazmat and Sergeant Bluff’s Fire Department held a full-scale emergency exercise that simulated a hazardous material spill.

While Siouxland may not experience a hazmat accident often, Woodbury County’s Emergency Manager told us making sure first responders know what to do is crucial.

“I mean our responders are doing life-saving tasks, so to be able to practice those in a less stressful environment and just to get in the routine nature of being able to respond to a hazardous materials incident is vital for our communities,” said Rebecca Socknat.

Wednesday’s exercise featured an anhydrous ammonia spill and with trucks transporting the substance through Siouxland frequently, Sergeant Bluff Assistant Fire Chief Dean Lauters said the training couldn’t be more relevant.

“So a simulation like this is huge for us to be able to train on something in real-world really could happen. These kinds of tanker vessels are p and down our highways all the time and for us to know and be able to practice on something like this is very beneficial for us. ALong with the working with our brothers in Sioux City,” said Lauters.

These exercises are often held quarterly, but more recently just once a year in Woodbury County.