A recently reformed committee in Marion County aims to make emergency officials better prepared to handle incidents at industrial areas in the county. Knoxville Fire Chief Nick Bonstell is the chair of the Local Emergency Planning committee. The group gathers local emergency officials together with industry leaders to assess and plan for challenges that occur at plants. Bonstell says they had great buy-in from those industrial leaders at the first meeting, something that’s necessary to make the committee work.
Bonstell points out 3M as an example, explaining that they go out of their way to give police, fire, and many others information about their site and what happens there. Bonstell adds that having someone like 3M’s Alan Bourne is important, explaining that those industries have a lot more access to information on chemicals that’s readily available. The Local Emergency Planning Committee is set to meet quarterly.