Officials Release ‘After Action Report’ for 7th Street Explosion
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- The Grand Junction Fire Department releases an “after action report” on all large disasters, so they can learn and better prepare for the future.
At Monday’s city council meeting, they released their report on the “7th Street Natural Gas Explosion,” that prompted hundreds to be evacuated and destroyed two homes.
“Our initial take on this is to try and get a structure in place, to capture the recommendations and start on who is going to work on them and how are we going to get that down,” said Chief Ken Watkins of the Grand Junction Fire Department.
It’s been almost 6 months to the day of the natural gas explosion that rocked Grand Junction neighborhood.
Fire Chief Watkins says plenty went well during the incident, like the community coming together to help those displaced. But from the concern side, there are some areas they can work on.
“On these large incidents, the incident command system, it ramps up. Some of the ways we ramped it up to handle a larger incident, we could have done a better job at,” said Watkins.
Watkins also illustrated that they could have established better scene precautions by hiring private security, as well as set up a designated location for information.
The fire official also pointed out that stronger methods could have been used to identify utilities.
“So another great one is call out procures for city leadership and notifications,” said Watkins. “Those kinds of things. Those are things that we will be working out here in the near future.”
Officials also did a report on the Whitehall Fire. They say the lessons they learned from that report, helped them in this explosion. There are some things officials will work on right away, like better communication and training. However others areas may take some more time and resources.
Watkins says they plan on sharing these lessons learned with other municipalities, so they too could better prepare for a disaster like this one.