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Johnson County HazMat Team Prepared for Threats

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Tense moments in Iowa City Monday.

“They were telling us all just to go outside or upstairs and out of the way,” UI student David Mizock said.

An envelope with a suspicious white substance brought out Iowa City’s finest.

“Police car, fire truck...they were just all over the place,” Mizock said.

Among the re-enforcements - the men and women of Johnson County's hazmat team.

“After 24 years in the service here I feel blessed,” said Lt. Tom Lacina, with Iowa City Fire Rescue.

Even with all those years under his belt, every day is training day for he and his crew.

“It’s pretty much ongoing training, a lot of chemistry, working with a lot of technical instruments.”

All that training prepares them for days like today, where safety is his team's top priority.

“They kept all the people that were in that area quarantined, for safety reasons till we find out substance was,” Lt. Lacina said.

In today's situation, the postal inspector tested the substance, finding out that it was a food item, and nothing dangerous. However, hazmat teams routinely encounter dangerous even deadly materials.

“Although it is dangerous, since we train for it, we're careful,” Lt. Lacina said. “We're trained to stay out of trouble.”

No matter how dangerous the situation is, they're more than happy to put it all on the line.

“The people of this community and all the surrounding communities I hope they're proud of the service that they get.”
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