Personal, Expert 24/7 Response
Nothing is more important in an emergency than reaching a real person able to dispatch teams of responders as soon as possible. Specialized’s Emergency Response Line, 888-654-0111, is answered by real people all day, every day. And our supervisors frequently answer direct calls from customers. Assessing the situation and needs begins at that moment.
“We ask what type of spill or accident has occurred and where. Is it near navigable waters? Are there waterways close by? Is it on a rail system or middle of the highway or interstate? What type of product is it?” says Mike Hill, Vice President and General Manager of Specialized Waste Systems.
After gathering critical information, a Specialized team member will provide an estimated time of arrival for a response, often staying in constant communication until the crew is on site. This fast, in-person response is a crucial step in limiting and mitigating damage.
Planning and Training Assistance
Helping businesses and facilities prepare for an emergency is also one of the reasons Specialized is effective in directing emergency responses. Specialized can help assess risk and craft real-world emergency response plans to protect lives, limit damage to properties, and recover quickly. Personnel are also available to train employees about how to implement the plan or conduct annual and semi-annual drills.
“We take a strategic look at how to enable ongoing plant operations and mitigate disruption,” Hill says. “Having an effective plan in place and working with Specialized allows our teams and supplies to be quickly deployed in the event of an emergency.”
Leadership Under Stress
The role of a team leader in an emergency response situation is vital. Crews from various companies and organizations quickly come together to form one team and often, tiers of teams. An effective leader must understand how to create immediate cooperation and direct the response.
Mike Turner recently joined Specialized, bringing 30 years of experience in emergency response to the job. He says the most effective leaders share certain personality traits. “You have to remain calm, shut out distractions, think clearly, and take charge in a way that commands respect and confidence,” he says.
Often, managing a difficult situation begins with managing your own reactions and perceptions, says Turner. Establishing and controlling expectations is the first step in creating a sense of shared purpose. “You learn to be open with everyone and communicate with authority. It comes with experience.”
Specialized offers a full team of professionals with decades of experience in helping prevent, repair, and restore environments threatened by all types of danger and delivering level-headed leadership when it matters most.
Relationships with First Responders
The confidence needed to lead a team is also crucial in communicating with fire departments, state and local police, and HAZMAT units who are often on the scene of an incident when Specialized crews arrive. “We have to be able to effectively step in and take charge of the situation, transferring responsibility for the work from the first responders to our teams,” says Hill. “We’re pleased to say that we’ve earned the trust of the authorities at every level. When we are on a job. they know they can safely leave the situation in our hands.”
Hill says those relationships are built over time and with intention. Getting to know fire and police chiefs and government agency personnel is an important part of the job. “Establishing good relationships with possible team members should happen long before an emergency arises,” says Hill.
A Large Fleet of Equipment
It takes a lot of equipment to service the many industries in the Gulf. Specialized offers both routine industrial waste management and emergency response expertise across all fields — petrochemical and manufacturing, shipping and marine-related business, and freight and rail. Supplying the right equipment at the right time is crucial for an effective emergency response. “The size and condition of our fleet of equipment is unmatched,” says Hill. “Pumps, spill trailers, drum skimmers, boats — we keep all of that well-maintained and much more ready to go.”
Specialized is sometimes the lead organization or sole responder. Other times the company is one of many contractors who respond to a large-scale event. “Large flank fires and pipeline busts require several companies to respond at once. We’re often at the top of the list not only because of our experience, but also because of the diversity and type of equipment we bring to the job,” Hill says.
Specialized Waste Systems is your one-call solution for the most reliable, experience emergency response in the region. We invite you to learn more about how we can help you. If it’s an emergency, call the 24/7 Emergency Response line at 888-654-0111, or reach us at 281-452-1735.