KITCHENER – Two tanker trucks have collided and caused a chemical spill at Conestoga College.

If you didn't know it was just an exercise, the dramatic scene might be pretty shocking.

Debris littered the ground and smoke filled the air at the scene. Dozens of volunteers helped to make it look realistic, acting injured and waiting to be assessed by emergency personnel.

The exercise was meant to teach emergency teams across jurisdictions how to respond to a large scale incident in Waterloo Region.

The mock chemical spill made matters more difficult for emergency crews tending to the victims while also trying to contain the spill.

"Any time there is a chemical spill we have our hazmat unit, that's where our specialized equipment is," explains Deputy Fire Chief Damond Jamieson.

"We have our suits that we use if we're not sure what the chemical is, so we have to go in with our suits and make sure that we protect ourselves and get the victim out of the hot zone area where the chemicals are bad."

One of the volunteers says that his volunteer experience in these simulations even helped him toward his goal to work for emergency services.