First responders conduct drill
Various agencies participated in the drill
UPPER UWCHLAN >> First-responders practice like they play.
Local emergency responders conducted an emergency response drill on Tuesday for hands-on training to practice what to do during a real incident. Upper Uwchlan Township officials said the emergency simulation proceeded as follows: The Chester County Department of Emergency Services (CCDES) dispatched the Ludwig’s Corner Fire Company and the Uwchlan Ambulance Corps at about 7 p.m. Tuesday to the area of the Enbridge Pumping Station, located off Fellowship Road in Upper Uwchlan Township, for the report of an odor of gas.
Upon arrival of the drill, fire department personnel discovered that there had been an accident resulting in a large amount of gas leaking from a natural gas pipeline with a reported missing employee. The Enbridge Operations Center was immediately notified, and the pipeline was shut down at the two closest valve stations. A multiagency incident command post was established. A ½ mile evacuation zone was established and local roadways surrounding the site were ordered closed. The evacuation was communicated to the public using reverse 911, various social media sites, and route alerting. A shelter was opened and staffed at the Pickering Valley Elementary School, of the Downingtown Area School District. The new media was briefed at the Upper Uwchlan Township municipal building.
Enbridge personnel arrived on the scene to assist emergency response personnel. Air monitors were deployed, a primary search for the missing employee was conducted, and the area immediately surrounding the leak was covered with a fog pattern dispersed from an aerial tower ladder. The missing employee was located and the product in the pipeline was allowed to safely evacuate. The evacuation was lifted with detailed information released to the public as it became available.
Upper Uwchlan Township officials said that such drills and periodic simulations like this one train emergency response personnel for all aspects of emergencies, including public notification. Township officials encouraged residents to be prepared for all types of emergencies, whether manmade or natural, by signing up for ReadyChesco to receive real-time notifications. Interested residents may also take a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Class to learn how to help others in emergency situations.
Upper Uwchlan Township officials thanked all participating agencies for their involvement in this emergency preparedness drill, whose continued dedication to public safety is appreciated.
“Upper Uwchlan Township and all of its dedicated emergency responders understand and take very seriously the importance of emergency planning and preparedness,” said Jamie Goncharoff, Chairman, Upper Uwchlan Township Board of Supervisors. “The township, its volunteers, and staff will continue to work with the Chester County Department of Emergency Services and all interested stakeholders to plan for, mitigate, and respond to all types of emergencies.”
Participating agencies in this simulation included: Ludwig’s Corner Fire Department, Upper Uwchlan Township Police Department, Upper Uwchlan Township Emergency Management, Upper Uwchlan Township Public Works Department, Uwchlan Ambulance Corps, Chester County Department of Emergency Services, Chester County Hazmat Team, and Enbridge Energy Partners.
Ludwig’s Corner Fire Company members, police officers, EMS crews, Upper Uwchlan Township officials and others worked together during an emergency response drill on Tuesday night to train for a real incident.