Keep calm, call the CON.
Employees at the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP) can keep calm knowing that control room operators have their back.
“All plant communication flows through the Control Room,” said Jim Brewer, plant shift manager. “It is the communication hub for the plant.”
“Plant conditions—maintenance, safety, information—are transferred from the CON,” Brewer said. Emergencies such as chemical, fire, medical and security incidents each have a contingency plan and are being practiced on Fridays. “We are practicing what to do in case of an emergency,” the shift manager continued. “We have call down lists, including PCAPP upper management and government personnel.” Since PCAPP is a tenant on the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot, the depot’s Operations Center is also informed.
Accountability drills are also being performed in order to be prepared in the event employees have to shelter in place or evacuate the plant. “Every department calls in the number of staff present,” Brewer explained.
Control room operators have several types of communication devices at their disposal, including email, two-way radios, telephone, and the newly installed Public Address and Pager System by which to transfer information to the PCAPP workforce.
Employees who make toxic area entries communicate with a control room operator assigned to the entrant and a medic via the Demilitarization Protective Ensemble Communication System. Through this specialized communication system, the entrant is monitored for medical emergencies and can communicate with his supervisor while performing maintenance activities.
“Our ability to perform well in emergency drills demonstrates our readiness for chemical operations,” Brewer said. “Our staff has confidence with the knowledge that they are prepared to respond in the event of an actual emergency. Communication is the key.”