Workers praised for reaction to leak

The quick actions by employees at the Bulkley Valley Regional Pool were a good way to impress their new boss.

  • Feb. 9, 2011 2:00 p.m.
Smithers Fire Department  members gather outside of the Bulkley Valley Swimming Pool on Jan. 31 after a minor chlorine leak shut down the facility.

Smithers Fire Department members gather outside of the Bulkley Valley Swimming Pool on Jan. 31 after a minor chlorine leak shut down the facility.

The quick actions by employees at the Bulkley Valley Regional Pool were a good way to impress their new boss.

Willa Thorpe, the new facility manager at the pool who has been in town for only six weeks, said that her staff reacted instantly to a sudden minor chlorine leak.

“We were doing some maintenance on one of our lines and we had a bit of a chlorine leak and so for safety precautions we evacuated the pool,” said Thorpe.

Emergency crews were called to the scene but by 3 p.m. on Jan. 31, Thorpe said that the pool was in great shape and air quality was where it should be.

However just as a precaution she kept the pool closed until the next morning.

“Just more of an insurance policy on my end,” she said. “Everything is functioning great but I don’t want to take a chance.”

“We could open our doors right now but I’ve personally chosen to keep us closed,” she said last Monday.

She said it was a check valve which vented the gas, which is actually one of the safety nets in place for the system so in effect things worked as they were supposed to.

She said no one’s skin was touched and two people were treated on-scene for minor inhalation but were released.

“There should be no long term effects for everyone.”

The pool was empty at the time and she said they were actually in the process of refilling it when the leak occurred.

Reviewing everyone’s performance, she said everything went perfectly.

“I’m absolutely floored with the amazing work by the EMS who came out, the fire department was tremendous, and my staff were absolutely off the charts, just amazing.”

She said from the moment the chlorine exposure happened, the facility was evacuated by staff within one minute.

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