Wednesday, June 1, 2016

"working together on emergency preparations......"

The importance of aluminum plants have an ongoing relationship with local emergency management services cannot be understated. Here is a recent story of how an aluminium plant and their surrounding community are working together to make everyone safer:

The citizens of Nash, Texas, are happy with the return of Alcoa. Alcoa deactivated the plant in 2009 but announced the reopening last year. The casthouse, which employs about 80 people, produces aluminum slab, which is turned into aluminum sheets at plants in Iowa and Pennsylvania. The sheets are used in aircraft and automotive production, as well as other applications. Nash City Administrator Doug Bowers is a big fan of Jeff Teague, a longtime manager with Alcoa and now in charge of the operations in Nash.

"When we (city management) met with Alcoa management, we listened to them explain what they've done to get ready," Bowers said. "Then, Jeff Teague walked in. Then I knew it was going to work. He's just a great guy."

Nash and Alcoa have been working together on emergency preparations. "We've had the chief of police, fire and public works exchanging information with Alcoa management. We want the two teams to be familiar with each other and to begin making plans on how to respond to potential emergencies," Bowers said. "On the off-chance things went wrong, everyone wants a plan in place and to know exactly what to do."

During these meetings, the teams set up contact lists and procedures, considered staging areas for operations. "It is a team effort," Bower said. "Alcoa is a worldwide organization. They've been doing this a long time and they know their business. If something did go wrong—within the plant—they would be running the show. But we are working closely to make sure the city authorities know what they will do in an emergency." 

Before the plant reopened, critics voiced concerns about the environmental impact plant operations would have on the community. Peter Velotas, director of operations for Alcoa, addressed the concerns at a 2015 meeting. 

"We're working closely with the TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality). All permits have been maintained and are currently in place."
Bowers emphasizes how glad the citizens of Nash are to have Alcoa back.

"The city of Nash realizes the operation of this plant is paramount," Bowers said. "It is great for our community—a great partner. We are glad to have them back. We are looking forward to many more years of partnership."

The Aluminium Plant Safety Blog commends Alcoa Texarkana and the City of Nash of working together to ensure that the lines of communication are installed and working. On a recent visit to an aluminium plant the plant manager told us that the local fire chief told him that his plant “scares him” because of the variety and severity of hazards that are within their gates. We strongly encourage every plant to develop a relationship their local emergency management departments.

Here is an article that was published in the Aluminum Times magazine that focused on training your local fire departments.

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