Seabee Base conducts hazardous spill drill to ensure safety of everyone

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 5:46 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Even when a mock spill happens, the response needs to be quick. A plan has to be in place and the responders need to be prepared. So when the real stuff happens, people and the environment are safe.

On Wednesday, the Naval Construction Battalion Center had its annual large-scale environmental safety exercise that simulated a 1,000-gallon spill and involved about 50 emergency responders.

“It worked like clockwork this morning,” said Katie Morrison, installation training officer. “They just went down the checklist. We just did this, so it was fresh in everyone’s mind.”

A real life scenario played out just a few weeks ago right along 28th Street on the Seabee side of the fence. It was a minor spill. But it’s important to note a lot of the drainage infrastructure is shared throughout the area.

The spill was only about 80 gallons of fuel, and it was contained quickly. But there is always a concern that any spill on base could make its way to the other side of the fence.

“We always try to keep in mind that five feet out the gate is somebody’s house,” Morrison said.

That’s why this training is so important for Morrison and the emergency crews she coordinates.

“We actually have contracts with some people out in town that in the event that we do have something like this that exceeds our capabilities, that’s who we would call for help and that’s actually what we’re doing today,” she said.

Maj. Aaron Courtney with the NCBC security department helped to coordinate the exercise.

“It’s probably the most important thing we do because without these drills, we’re not going to know how to react in situations like this when it really happens,” he said. “It gets us prepared to be able to act quickly and swiftly to handle situations so it doesn’t have an impact on the surrounding area.”

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