ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Earlier this week a huge fire broke out in the back lot at Procter & Gamble's paper plant in Albany, but the damage was minor, thanks in great part to the preparation work between Albany Firefighters and Albany Industries.
A four story tall pile of paper products, damaged during the tornado, was being cleaned up with a large tractor when a spark started a huge blaze.
P&G has their own plant employees who are trained by first responders for quick response in case of an emergency like a fire in their plant.
"They come out to our burn building and get their certification that they get to have. We do exercises with them on an annual basis," said Albany Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Eugene Anderson.
Most of the other large industries in Albany also train and have teams that plan for emergencies at businesses, to know how to respond.
"Emergency planning committee. We call a LEPC, which our local responders, our local industries, and our citizens are involved. We get together and make these emergency plans and etcetera," Albany Fire Chief Ron Rowe explained.
An industry fire can be very serious for its employees and the surrounding community, because of all the chemicals and possibly hazardous materials involved in manufacturing that could be toxic if burned.
That's why first responders go through and learn all they can about those plants.
"Partnering and building relationships with the industries. So that we can train with them, know what's on their property," said Rowe. "What they are going to be doing. Knowing what the hazards may be to our people."
"They can tell us where to go. They can tell us what is in there. Parts of structure," Anderson said. "They are the experts on their structures and their business."
For the industries, the benefit is safeguarding their operations and facilities. Making sure an emergency does not cost them business.
"Is there any potential shutdown, or economic impact on the industry or our community. So we're always concerned about the quickest response and the quickest way to mitigate the problem," explained Rowe.
Industries work with first responders to protect their plants, their buildings, their employees and their jobs.
That planning worked this week. Despite strong winds, firefighters and P&G employees were able to keep the fire contained to the ruined papers, products and some pallets with minimal damage.