Kitimat Fire Department fire fighters gear up for the drill. Photo Gerry Leibel

Drill prepared staff for ammonia leak

You could be forgiven for thinking something serious had happened at Tamitik Arena on Thursday November 30 – the lower parking lot at the City Centre Mall was thronging with emergency vehicles.

However, it was all part of a drill organized by the District of Kitimat to assess the emergency services’ preparedness in the eventuality of an ammonia leak.

This comes in the wake of the death of three workers in Fernie in October while they were completing routine maintenance on the town’s ice rink refrigeration unit. Their deaths were caused by an ammonia leak, which also led to the evacuation of homes, businesses and a retirement facility in the area.

The DoK treated the drill as an actual leak event and response personnel in hazmat suits played out a simulated evacuation of the rinks and the pool area.

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