On Monday morning, an “After Action Review” was held at Potter Street Community Center for emergency personnel to discuss the explosion that happened last Wednesday, August 19 at the Liquid Transfer Terminals in Bainbridge.
Bainbridge Public Safety Fire Chief Doyle Welch opened the meeting and provided an overview of the timeline of Wednesday’s events and procedures, as well as photos of the scene. The safety of citizens and firefighters was of top concern, and the fact that the tank is still standing, with a million gallons of flammable product contained, and no firefighters seriously injured are signs of an incident well handled.
Welch stated that as a result of this incident, a Southwest Georgia Incident Management Team was being formed, and also the Salamander Informational System will be implemented to provide first responders and emergency managers the tools they need to manage incidents. Also speaking at the meeting were Decatur County Fire Chief Charlie McCann, Thomas County Fire Chief Chris Jones, Donalsonville Fire Chief Dean King, Bainbridge Assistant City Manager Roy Oliver, and EMS Director Randy Williams. All who spoke praised the communication, cooperation, and coordination that took place between all responding agencies.
Responding to the explosion on Wednesday and attending today’s meeting were representatives from Bainbridge Public Safety, Decatur County Fire and Rescue, Georgia State Patrol, Cairo-Grady County Fire and Rescue, Colquitt-Miller County Fire and Rescue, Donalsonville Fire Department, Thomas County Fire and Rescue, Decatur County EMS, Decatur-Grady 911, and the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department.
It was noted that many people stepped in to offer assistance, and bring food and water or other resources to the scene. Special thanks go to Hal Clement of Motiva for providing air quality monitoring, Stacy Warren of the Salvation Army for housing and feeding area evacuees on Wednesday night, Janice Lewis of Decatur-Grady 911 for providing meals at the scene, and many volunteer firefighters.
Condolences were also offered to the family of Chris Coker who perished at the scene.