Sheriff’s office training incident sends 4 to the hospital

Published 10:33 am Thursday, November 14, 2019


COLUMBIANA – Four people were taken to the hospital to be treated after possibly being exposed to CS gas that was released into the air after a tactical training session took place on Nov. 13 at the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office training center located on McDow Road.

CS gas, also known as tear gas, is used as a crowd control agent. When exposed to the gas, people usually experience a burning sensation and tearing of the eyes to the point where they cannot keep their eyes open. A burning sensation of the mucous membranes in the nose, mouth and throat cause uncontrollable coughing, nasal mucus discharge, disorientation and difficulty breathing. The gas is not known to be fatal or cause serious injuries.

According to a news release from the sheriff’s office, this incident happened around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 13. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Tactical Response Unit was conducting CS gas familiarization training, which is a common method of exposing law enforcement personnel to the effects of CS gas for a short period of time.

After the training was completed, the room in which the gas was deployed was vented externally. After the CS gas was vented, several employees and visitors of the nearby Shelby County Humane Society were possibly exposed and experienced respiratory issues.

The four people taken to the hospital to be treated do not appear to have serious injuries, according to the news release. The community is not in danger. This is an isolated incident.