First re­spon­ders con­duct drill

Var­i­ous agen­cies par­tic­i­pated in the drill

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

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.

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