Always ready for the call to action:
Three questions to Gert Van Bortel
The annual major incident drill took place on June 18. This drill has been held at the Ludwigshafen site for almost 30 years now - but why and how does the site fire brigade benefit from the rehearsed emergency?
Gert Van Bortel, Vice President BASF Emergency Response, briefly answers the most important questions:
Mr. Van Bortel, the major incident drill has been held since 1990. How did it all begin?
The effort involved is enormous, with 100 emergency responders, 24 vehicles and 120 guests – what is the benefit of all this?
Even though we have emergency response exercises almost on a daily basis, with 220 emergency drills per year, the major incident drill is an outstanding training opportunity. After all, in case of an emergency the Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services need to work hand in hand with Site Security, Environmental Monitoring, Employee Care Team and the plant. That’s why we train regularly the necessary procedures and measures at the site.
And that’s important, as even though we have been running a chemical plant with the very highest safety standard for decades, it is essential to be prepared for the unlikely event of an incident. I compare it with the first aid courses, which – I hope – everyone participates in regularly. You don’t participate because you expect to be confronted with an accident straight away and have to provide first aid. You go there to be well prepared for this situation and to be able to provide fast and effective first aid. Our exercises with our professionally trained and very well-equipped emergency response teams are just the same.