HATTIESBURG, MS (WLOX) - First responders from all over the state of Mississippi gathered at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg Wednesday, for special training from the Department of Homeland Security.
"This is an evaluation session for the individual task forces that are located in the state of Mississippi. We do training throughout the year and this is an evaluation session to grade them," Hattiesburg fireman Will Lewis.
"This is the most realistic site that we've been able to provide for them so far. Thanks to the National Guard and Camp Shelby to allow us to come down and train," said organizer Rusty Barnes.
Organizers say the training is all about being prepared in case the worst happens.
"The state of Mississippi has put tons of money into these teams as well as equipment and training, and with tornado season on us as well as hurricane season approaching, we just try to make sure all the guys are 100 percent," said Organizer, Pierce Clark.
"This drill is focusing on over lancing search and rescue, structural collapse and hazmat. Full size buildings, full to scale, streets, tunnels... everything. It's a very good training site," said Lewis.
Training will conclude at the end of this week.