STANWOOD, IA (KCRG-TV9)-- A mock disaster drill was held in Cedar County Tuesday morning. First responders wanted to see how they would respond to a person getting crop dusting chemicals on their skin. The chemicals can give a person a rash, and it can affect their breathing.
High school students who are working with Corteva Agriscience (formerly DuPont Pioneer) were used for the exercise. During the simulation, they were out working in the field when a crop dusting airplane flew by and sprayed them with chemicals.
First responders then went through the process of how they would treat the kids. Crews would have them wash off, check them for any rashes or burns, and send them to the hospital. After the drill was over, first responders met to discuss what they did well, and what they can improve on.
DuPont partnered with the county for the drill. Juan Acuna with DuPont says, "Every year we have anywhere between 75-100 high school kids detassling for us, so it's very important for us to keep them safe"
Mallot says crop-dusting contamination rarely happens, but emergency responders need to be ready. He says of the exercise, “”If we can do these drills and get them learning factors beyond and behind us, we'll be able to do this better, faster, and learn every time we do this, and improve on our system."
People crop dusting are normally given a heads up to where people will be out in the field at so they know not to spray in that area.