Prepared & Trained For Emergencies: Huntington Fertilizer Plant (VIDEO)

By Emma Koch
By Stephanie Parkinson

April 19, 2013 Updated Nov 8, 2013 at 6:58 PM EST

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – The explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas has made 21 Alive look closer to home. In Huntington a fertilizer plant, that houses hazardous chemicals, sits right off busy US-24 just east of town.

21 Alive’s Stephanie Parkinson asked the Huntington Fire Chief if the same scenario could happen in Huntington.

"It's hard to say there's no way it could ever happen,” said Chief Tim Albertson, Huntington Fire Department.

The Helena fertilizer plant houses anhydrous ammonia. It’s a hazardous chemical used to make fertilizers.

"You can't ever completely eliminate any risk to it but we work very hard and very diligently to minimize it,” said Terry Drottz, Production Manager, Helena.

Drottz says their facility, and the industry as a whole, is heavily regulated.

"It's just an anomaly, you just don't see that kind of accident or incident within our industry,” said Drottz.

Helena works with the Huntington Fire Department to ensure the firefighters know what chemicals are at the facility and specifically where they're located so they can be prepared if an emergency ever were to happen.

"We are constantly and always, us and every fire department, is spending time trying to come up with every possible scenario that could happen and train to that and prepare for it,” said Chief Albertson.

While preparing is vital there are some situations Chief Albertson knows you can't predict. For Drottz, he says his company is keeping a close eye on the developments in West, Texas.

"Regulations will change, depending on what they find, potentially. But even Helena, we'll review it and then decisions will be made, if we have any exposure at our facilities,” said Drottz.

Although the Texas disaster could reveal a need for changes within the industry for nowDrottz and Albertson feel the plant and the community is safe.




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