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City Suspends Training Exercise Following Asbestos Exposure

Everett, WA. - Firefighters from the Everett Fire Department were exposed to an unknown amount of asbestos during summer training drills.

In what is known as "destructive training," firefighters chop holes into a building to ventilate smoke and help search for victims. It is routine training and is often done without a respirator.

This summer Everett firefighters conducted these drills for five days on city owned houses that were slated for demolition. A city employee later informed them that a survey of the houses found that they contained asbestos.

The city has suspended the training though the damage may have already been done. A recent report suggested that firefighters may have been previously exposed to the carcinogen because the department doesn't have a system to verify whether their training environments contain asbestos. The reported recommended regular monitoring and health screenings.