HAAP firefighters receive high marks

Jeff Bobo • Apr 4, 2007 at 11:36 AM

KINGSPORT - The Holston Army Ammunition Plant fire department received a score of 97 out of 100 following an unannounced drill and evaluation held last month by a Joint Munitions Command inspector.

According to HAAP public affair coordinator Nancy Grey, the HAAP fire department received a spot "fire and emergency services operational readiness inspection" on March 22 by Bob Loyd of the Joint Munitions Command Safety Office.

HAAP's fire protection is provided by contractor Wackenhut Services, Inc., which also provides security for the plant.

"This activity provides the Army with an independent assessment of the major functions of the fire department utilizing the guidelines of Army regulations regarding fire and emergency services," Grey said. "That includes administration and management, training, fire prevention programs, operations, fire fighting exercises and fire protection engineering."

Grey said that HAAP commander Lt. Col. Garry McClendon introduced HAAP's fire department via a video created onsite by government and operating contractor personnel. The video concluded with scenes from a recent unannounced midnight fire drill.

"In spite of the fact that this was a drill, firefighters arrived at the remote location, extricated a victim and cleared the building of dense smoke within 23 minutes," Grey said.

Five HAAP firefighters are on duty around the clock available to provide fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services, HazMat and confined-space rescue coverage.

Loyd completed a detailed review of each functional area and is currently compiling a final report, Grey said.

"It is important to note that a major portion of the overall score is derived from observation of a practical drill," Grey said. "Mr. Loyd observed each shift responding to a realistic structure fire that required establishment of a water supply, vertical and horizontal ventilation, fire suppression, and rescue as well as patient treatment. During the final exercise, an actual fire alarm was received that required the firefighters to respond to a second alarm.

"Mr. Loyd was very complimentary with the fire department's ability to adapt immediately utilizing the reserve engine."

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