Denton, TX -- The City of Amarillo, along with Potter and Randall Counties, has been selected to participate in a FEMA program to improve the community's emergency response procedures. Fire, law enforcement, and medical service responders will spend four-to-six months working with emergency management officials, local industry, and volunteers to review and revise procedures and to train responders.
Hundreds of accidental spills involving chemical or petroleum products occur annually on our roadways, waterways, and railways. How well is the Amarillo area prepared to handle such a disaster? Are the emergency teams prepared and trained to respond to these hazardous incidents? This program will help the community answer these questions.
"There is no doubt that the City of Amarillo and Potter and Randall Counties have an effective plan now. However, with constant changes in hazards, a community needs to examine its plans and procedures regularly. CHER-CAP (Comprehensive Hazmat Emergency Response-Capability Assessment Program) unites elements of the response community in this effort," commented Gary Jones, FEMA's Acting Regional Director.
Amarillo and Potter and Randall Counties were selected for this program because of their interest in constantly improving their response to hazardous materials, according to Jones. "Hazardous materials may require quick response from numerous local and state agencies and departments. We can learn from this experience before a real incident occurs," he commented.
"This program provides federal and state expertise to help review and revise plans, procedures, and training plus an exercise to test our emergency response. Everything is tailored to our own community needs," stated Walt Kelley, Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Amarillo and Potter and Randall Counties.