NATCHITOCHES OFFICE OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS HOLDS AFTER ACTION REVIEW OF ANHYDROUS AMMONIA LEAK RESPONSE

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Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones, Director and Asst. Director Deputy Mary Jones of Natchitoches Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness held a after action review Feb. 14 of the response to the Feb. 7 anhydrous ammonia leak at the West La. Ice Plant in Natchitoches.

Attending the meeting were Sheriff Victor Jones, Natchitoches Police Chief Mickey Dove, Asst. Director of the Natchitoches Office of Homeland & Security Deputy Mary Jones, NPD Asst. Chief Harmon Winters, NPD Captain Brad Walker, NPD Lt. Nikeo Collins, NPSO Captain Tony Moran, NPSO Chief of Communications LaQuita Collins, Deputy Lamarr McGaskey with OEP, John Nicholas with the State of Louisiana Gas Commission and NPFD #5 Chief, Natchitoches Fire Department Chief of Training/Safety and Haz Mat Coordinator Michael Sesvold along with the manager of the Natchitoches West La. Ice Plant.

Officials discussed the one-mile evacuation order that was issued by CodeRed during the initial response to the hazardous material leak in the interest of public safety and later downgraded to a four-block radius.

All involved agreed though it may have caused inconvenience to some, the safety of our city and citizens was our upmost priority in this situation.

Ammonia is an irritant and corrosive to the skin, eyes, respiratory tract and mucous membranes. Exposure to liquid or rapidly expanding gases may cause severe chemical burns and frostbite to the eyes, lungs and skin.

Natchitoches Police is also joining in the effort with the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office to bring awareness to the CodeRed emergency network notification system and urge citizens to sign up for this free service.

Deputy Mary Jones discussed the opening of temporary shelters during emergencies and assistance from Red Cross.

We would also like to thank all of our law enforcement and first responders that responded to the incident during the evening of Feb. 7.

PRESS RELEASE and PHOTOS: NPSO

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