SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) – Within minutes, they were all out. And seemingly just as fast, they were all o.k., all 220 Roger Wood Foods employees safe and accounted for after an ammonia leak early this morning at company's West Savannah plant.
"I was amazed,'' Roger Woods safety manager Corey McClimans said of the plant-wide response to the emergency. "The call came about 8:35 and 8:38 we had everyone evacuated.
"I went around to every single supervisor and they all knew exactly who was on vacation, they had everyone accounted for, we knew where everyone was.''
And Roger Wood employees knew a potentially dangerous situation was averted.
The leak was not as bad as it could have been, partly because the ammonia-processing system is located away from populated work areas and partly because the company's emergency protocol that was in place and practiced today.
"Everything went very smoothly,'' said plant worker Clara Powell. "It didn't take us no time at all to get out of the plant and everyone was safe and we did all our check points. Everyone was real calm and very relaxed.''
"All of our safety checks are pretty serious,'' added Sheila Sisson, a quality control tech at Roger Wood. "Everyone works together to make sure everyone's o.k. And safe and out.''
Aside from two employees who were treated for minor injuries, everyone at Roger Wood eturned to work within a couple of hours, confident in the plant's safety procedures.
"We have drills and we do evacuations and they do work,'' said McClimans. "And we have what we call The Bible, but basically it's for crises and this is one of the crises we have. We have it for evacuations and today was a great example of how the practice and diligence really worked out well for us.
"We're just ecstatic that everything went really well, everyone was accounted for and everyone's going home to their family tonight.''
With little more than a brief scare and an interesting story to tell.