Emergency Disaster Services Responds to Ammonia Leak in Fort Erie

by The Salvation Army in Canada

First responders arrived at the scene of Rich Products in Fort Erie shortly after noon on Monday, July 6, 2015 due to an ammonia spill which resulted in the death of one contractor and non-life threatening injuries to two others.  Many in the surrounding area had to be evacuated while others were instructed to remain in their homes with windows closed and air conditioners off.  Nearby Douglas Memorial Hospital was sealed for a time while two other nearby nursing homes were also locked down.

The Salvation Army’s Community & Family Service Manager, Elliott Innes, upon being informed of the disaster by volunteer Kathleen Gregoire, contacted Executive Director, Greg Warkentin to inform him of the event and then contacted Perron Goodyear, Divisional Director of Emergency & Disaster Services who subsequently put the Emergency Disaster Service (EDS) team from Hamilton on alert.

Using ministry unit vehicles as well as the region's Community Response Unit, the EDS team was requested to provide hydration services to first responders from fire, EMS, police as well as members of the Ministry of Labour.  As the evening arrived meal services were prepared and handed out to all remaining first responders as well as employees of Rich Products who had not been permitted to leave.

“The impact of the EDS team was obvious from the gratitude expressed by emergency personnel standing outside on the hottest day of the summer to the diabetic employee at Rich’s who had not had anything to eat all day”, said Elliott Innes.  “It is clear that the services of The Salvation Army are becoming essential to the support services in the community that give so much of themselves as well as those who need to see a caring heart and a friendly face in the midst of their own disaster."

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