Members of the Bayonne Police and Fire Departments teamed up with PSE&G to participate in a gas leak drill in less than ideal weather conditions this morning.
“PSE&G responds to somewhere in the neighborhood of 90,000 gas emergency responses a year and we don’t know what they’re going to be when we go out there, so what we end up doing is try to drills of different scenarios,” explained Michael Schmid, the PSE&G North Jersey senior director of gas field operations.
“So today’s scenario, we are simulating contractors doing work out here that damaged one of our gas facilities. So during that process, what we’ll try to do is see how the communication goes, see how the first responders react with each other.”
Schmid added that these drills are performed throughout the state, with the drill performed at 103 East 25th St. this morning including variables such as a tank farm, an excavator and a resident that didn’t speak English to test PSE&G and first responders in different ways.
Furthermore, he said that in 2016, PSE&G has responded to 763 gas emergencies so far, with only 10 occurring in Bayonne.
Additonally, Bayonne Fire Chief Keith Weaver welcomed the opportunity to prep for such an emergency in the Peninsula City.
“It’s a great chance to practice our operations to a gas emergency in order to keep the citizens in Bayonne safe and we practice interagency communication and coordination,” he exclaimed.
“Today, the simulation was for an excavation with a gas leak and then an explosion, so we practiced many of our basic strategies and tactics to deal with such an emergency and it gives us a chance to, if there’s any issues that need to be addressed, we identify them before the actual emergency occurs.”
Dozens of Bayonne firefighters, police officers and PSE&G workers participated in the roughly hour-long drill.