Brooks County prepares for disaster - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Brooks County prepares for disaster

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December 4, 2007

Quitman - The Quitman fire department, police and Brooks County deputies responded to a gas spill on Highway 84 in front of the Presbyterian Home Retirement Community around 10:00 Tuesday morning.

It's 350 employees and elderly residents, many of them bed ridden, needed to be evacuated.  "The fire department made the decision to evacuate because of the risk and we involved all of the agencies in the Brooks County departments to assist," says Joyce Weeks, Executive Director of the Presbyterian Home.

Tuesday, this exercise was only a drill. 

But law enforcers say a large scale emergency could happen anytime. "We wanted to involve all our county resources because with Katrina and 9/11, it's charged our way of thinking," she adds.

Especially like the scenario they are practicing this year.  "Right here, on 84, we have big trucks coming through with gas, diesel, and all types of hazardous materials and it could happen here easily," says Fire Chief Clay Phillips.

This is the first large scale, multi-agency drill in the county and law enforcers say it plays an important role in protecting the community.

"It's imperative that we have drills, that we are prepared to extinguish, evacuate, what ever we have to do to help our community," Phillips says.

They say this will now become an annual event.

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