September 21, 2018, Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta: Chemtrade Logistics Inc. tested their emergency response plan in an exercise on September 18th. The scenario involved a damaged pipeline and subsequent product release. Fort Saskatchewan Fire Department and RCMP were dispatched to the site, and the decision to activate NRCAER mutual aid was made, bringing emergency response crews and vehicles from both Sherritt and Dow.
With a recently updated site emergency response plan and some new staff, Chemtrade was looking to achieve a series of objectives. “Specifically, we wanted to confirm our site emergency response protocols and how our people coordinate with Fort Saskatchewan Fire. They did a great job,” said Hassan Halbouni, Plant Manager at Chemtrade. “Escalating the scenario to activate NRCAER and involving our mutual aid partners provided the opportunity for more responders to practice, and that benefits everyone.”
According to Fort Saskatchewan Deputy Fire Chief Paul Prevost, exercises build cooperation, resilience and preparedness in emergency management practices. "When municipal and industrial partners work together in the planning phase and during simulated emergency events, we’re able to refine skills and expose potential learning opportunities. On Tuesday all of us got to use skills and equipment that we train on continually. As an emergency manager and instructor, that’s a big deal," said Deputy Chief Prevost.
NRCAER’s multi-agency approach to training and emergency management through mutual aid has been in place for the past 27 years. “As an industry-municipal mutual aid organization, we lead in this space,” says Brenda Gheran, Executive Director with NRCAER. “Each member brings their experience and best practices, locally and globally, to the table. These highly trained responders and equipment are supported by forward-thinkers who look beyond individual boundaries to ensure our region remains safe, informed and prepared now and into the future.” Still, Gheran notes that each time municipalities and industries talk and collaborate, discoveries are made. “All NRCAER members are committed to safety and willingly share that information which makes all response plans better.”
About Chemtrade Logistics: Chemtrade’s two plants in Fort Saskatchewan produce and supply sulphur-enhanced chemicals for the pulp and paper and oil and gas industry; as well as water treatment chemicals to municipalities and industries throughout Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. www.chemtradelogistics.com
About Northeast Region Community Awareness Emergency Response (NRCAER): NRCAER is the region’s mutual aid emergency response organization. Members are emergency management professionals from local industry, the City of Fort Saskatchewan, the Counties of Lamont, Strathcona and Sturgeon, and the towns of Bruderheim, Gibbons, Morinville and Redwater. Further information can be found at www.nrcaer.com.