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Ohio Responders Call on Zombies to Aid in Emergency Drill

DELAWARE, Ohio -- Delaware residents shouldn't be alarmed if they see zombies crawling around the Ohio Wesleyan campus on Monday. It's only a drill.

Delaware County emergency management personnel and other first responders are holding their largest practice drill ever, and they hope that as many as 350 volunteers dress up like zombies on Halloween to help them out.

So far, more than 170 people have signed up. Zombies are asked to show up at Selby Stadium at 11 a.m., and can provide their own costume or be done up there. Awards will be given for best costume, makeup and zombie walk.

The drill imagines that a chemical spill has happened and a toxic cloud has drifted over a crowd at the stadium, turning everyone there into zombies. The zombies must be treated and decontaminated by first responders.

Although the exercise is designed to be fun for volunteers, it will provide real training for the close to 100 emergency personnel participating, said county EMA director Brian Galligher. Skills learned at the drill could be used during a hazardous-material spill or other large-scale accident.

"We'll judge it as a successful drill if we come away from it and find that there are things we need to do differently," Galligher said.


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