The sight of little green men at Akzo Nobel’s Felling site in the UK might cause some people to think that they’d walked right into a real-life episode of The X-Files.
But the truth is out there, and it reveals that aliens haven’t landed just yet. The Felling coatings facility, located in Tyne and Wear, is one of a number of company sites worldwide which operate their own emergency response units. Their main responsibility is to react immediately to any incident that occurs at the location. “The main advantage of this team is that we can contain any spillage or fire until the local fire services arrive, thus keeping disruption to a minimum,” explained Gordon Jeffrey, Fire and Security Manager at Felling. “We can then assist by passing on our knowledge of the site to the fire service once all personnel have been evacuated.” So why the strange, space-age outfits? “Whilst the team is always on hand to assist, there have been times when we could not proceed further due to the nature of the incident because, unlike the fire service, we did not have specialized spill suits," said Jeffrey. "Now, having purchased two suits, we are fully able to attend any incident, safe in the knowledge that we have the best equipment available for the job.”
(Released: November 5, 2002)