After-Action Report: Refinery Response a "Total Success" - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

After-Action Report: Refinery Response a "Total Success"

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The Chatham Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) released a report detailing how first responders performed their duties after the February 7 explosion and fire at Imperial Sugar's Dixie Crystals refinery in Port Wentworth.

Though the report makes several recommendations for improving future disaster response, it characterizes the response as excellent, stating that "the response/recovery missions performed during this tragic event should always be considered a 'total success.'"

The report cites strong mutual aid agreements, cooperation among agencies, rapid activation of a regional medical alert plan, excellent media participation and support, excellent support from the Salvation Army and Red Cross, rapid arrival of Bryan County's mobile command post, and support of several regional, state and national agencies, as contributing to that success.

The report recommends improvements in multi-agency response along several lines, including working toward better radio interoperability, recruiting structural engineers at the local level, and infrastructure improvements to the water system around potentially hazardous sites to aid firefighting. Additional instruction and better coordination at the scene are also recommended.

Additionally, the report offers special thanks to Port Wentworth's fire chief:

Port Wentworth Fire Chief Greg Long deserves special recognition and commendation for his tireless efforts and dedication. His actions were exemplarily; we are proud to have him as a member of the Public Safety community.

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