La Crosse Emergency Management is reflecting on a training exercise they completed in October.
The goal was to develop response in the event of a crude oil spill.
The hypothetical scenario, a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train derailment carrying 150 thousand gallons of Bakken crude oil dumping directly into the Mississippi.
The 3-day simulation included rehabilitation drills for wildlife covered in oil along with communication drills for emergency responders.
Part of the goal was to learn more about the nature of crude oil and damage it can cause.
The take-away after the exercise was that emergency responders still have a lot of work to be prepared for a catastrophic spill.
"No community is every really going to be fully prepared for a massive catastrophic train derailment with a million gallons of crude oil spilling or igniting or getting into the sewers and streams, you just can't be. But there are things that you can be doing to get yourself better prepared to take care of people and get them out of harms way," Keith Butler, Emergency Management Coordinator said.
Butler said still have a long way but emergency training is constantly improving.
The next exercise drill will focus on evacuation plans.
Th biggest issue, he said, is communicating across the river.