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Henry County Fire Department Haz-Mat Team Provides Mutual Aid Response to Butts County Water Treatment Plant

Henry County Fire Department Haz-Mat Team Provides Mutual Aid Response to Butts County Water Treatment Plant
Chief Gardner in Command at the Command Post

Just after 12:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 12, 2013, the Henry County Fire Department (HCFD) Hazardous Material (Haz-Mat) Team was requested to respond to 1835 Stark Road in Butts County, to a Chlorine Leak at the Butts County Water Treatment Plant. The plant manager and only employee on duty, had stated that he heard a "Boom" and as he was exiting his office, he got a hit of chlorine in the face from the direction of the chlorine room, a room which housed one-ton chlorine cylinders. Henry County Fire and Haz-Mat units from Station Number 1, Station Number 11, Rescue Number 10, and members of the Haz-Mat Team, responded to the mutual aid call.

Henry County Fire Captain Jonathan Burnette and member of the HCFD Haz-Mat Team, was one of the first on scene responding with Butts County Fire.  Burnette established command and began with the gathering of vital information for the Haz-Mat Team, from the plant manager.  HCFD Operations Chief Brad Johnson and Battalion Chief Tom Gardner arrived on scene and Chief Gardner, working with Butts County Fire, took over command setting up the command post while Burnette, moved to operations.  Zones were established, a decontamination area was set up, a plan of attack was formulated, and hazard mitigation ensued. 

Teams in suits made entry with monitors to check chlorine levels within the structure.  Although, levels detected were low, appropriate precautions were followed. The structure was ventilated, and air quality was verified before personnel were allowed to return.  No further leaks were detected. No injuries were reported. 

"A potentially very dangerous situation was safely mitigated through interdepartmental cooperation and actions of highly trained responders," stated Captain Sabrina Puckett. 


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