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(J.R.H. 104)

Offered by: Representatives Perry of Richford and Gervais of Enosburg.

Whereas, on Saturday, January 10, 1998, a major fire suddenly ignited at the Blue Seal Plant in Richford, and

Whereas, 12 fire departments from Richford, Enosburg, Montgomery, Berkshire, Franklin, Highgate, Swanton Village, St. Albans City and Town, and Cambridge, Vermont, as well as the towns of Sutton and Bromont, Quebec, responded to this emergency, and

Whereas, this timely and widespread response was made possible due to mutual aid organization, prompt notification and good communications, and

Whereas, this international contingent of largely volunteer firefighters labored under difficult conditions as they encountered frigid wintry temperatures and high winds while they battled to control, and ultimately extinguish, the dangerous flames, and

Whereas, that Richford Fire Chief, Paul Martin led a coordinated effort by the well trained firefighters of these departments who prevented the fire from spreading, thus limiting property damage and danger to nearby residents, and

Whereas, the adequate water supply, the cleanliness of the plant and its fire retardant structure were important contributing factors to the safe outcome, and

Whereas, evacuation and traffic control were effectively coordinated by public safety officers with assistance of ambulance crews from Enosburg and Richford, and

Whereas, when nearby residents were required to evacuate for the duration of the night as a preventative measure, local businesses reopened, and an emergency shelter was established at Dorian Hall to serve the evacuees, and

Whereas, the Blue Seal employees worked diligently to make repairs, clean the plant and resume full operations, and

Whereas, the people of Richford are grateful for the magnificent response and safe outcome of this event which threatened its major employer, now therefore be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives and Senate:

That the General Assembly expresses its gratitude to the firefighters, other public safety officials, Blue Seal employees and people of Richford who worked together to protect people and property, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to each of the municipalities cited in this resolution in order that they can further distribute it to the organizations that participated in this effort, and to Mr. Paul Adamczak, the general manager of the Blue Seal Plant in Richford.