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The emergency preparedness team at the EM Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant held its first Hazardous Facility Emergency Response Organization tabletop drill recently.
The emergency preparedness team at the EM Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant held its first Hazardous Facility Emergency Response Organization tabletop drill recently.

RICHLAND, Wash. – A team at the Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) recently held a drill considered an important first step in building an emergency preparedness program to ready the plant for commissioning and eventual full operations.

“We plan, train, and work hard for normal and successful operations,” said Tim Haddick, EM supervisor of security and emergency services. “We also work just as hard to be ready if something doesn’t go as planned so we can protect workers and the public, and get back to normal operations as quickly as possible. This adds an additional layer of safety to operations.”

The training is called the Facility Emergency Response Organization (FERO) tabletop drill. Tabletop drills are a common DOE emergency preparedness tool, in which a facilitator presents a scenario for FERO members, who then discuss their roles and responsibilities during an unlikely emergency. The drill also provided the members an opportunity to incorporate lessons learned for continuous improvement in the emergency preparedness program.

“The team did an outstanding job to make the drill a success,” said Eric Kinnunen, emergency preparedness manager for WTP subcontractor Waste Treatment Completion Company. “We are using a crawl-walk-run philosophy, and it was our first time ‘crawling.’ As we move through the process, we will introduce new scenarios, and they will get increasingly complex.”

The drill was conducted using COVID-19 social-distancing controls and attended by personnel from the WTP FERO, EM Office of River Protection, Hanford support services contractor Mission Support Alliance, Hanford Fire Department, and Hanford Patrol Operations Center.

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