(Certified Best Practice by BMPCOE)
United Defense, L.P., Ground Systems Division - Santa Clara, CA
Prior to the catastrophic earthquake that struck the area in 1989, there was little in place at GSD-O to respond to emergency situations in a coordinated fashion. The earthquake caused $21.4M in damage, including the loss of a major manufacturing building. This event, coupled with emerging legislation in the environmental area, led management to support creation of the Emergency Response Team (ERT) and the Crisis Management Team.
United Defense, L.P., GSD-O has established a highly trained, well-equipped core of approximately 50 volunteer employees for its ERT. Team members are cross trained and certified to deal with chemical spills, incipient fire response, medical emergencies, and natural/industrial emergencies such as earthquakes, flooding, gas leaks, industrial accidents, and search and rescue.
Today, the ERT has well-stocked equipment lockers strategically located across the facilities. It also maintains a large commercial-type van that has been outfitted to carry a wide variety of equipment and supplies needed in the different emergency situations. All team members are equipped with pagers and can be called by security to respond to various levels of emergency. The intent is to provide rapid response to an emergency situation to prevent catastrophic results. The average response time is between 2 and 3.5 minutes. The team conducts periodic drills internally and in cooperation with outside agencies.
Implementing and supporting this concept has resulted in a reduction of call-outs by 63% from 1990-1991, by 36% from 1991-1992, and by 34% from 1992-1993. The team has gained recognition by local and state Emergency Response agencies as well as gaining employee confidence in being capable of quickly responding to any emergency. This organized response has also reduced operational cost by avoiding costly downtime in containment of problems that could potentially stop work.