Richmond Hill explosion report offers recommendations for improvement

Riggs: Responders did tremendous job

INDIANAPOLIS - City officials reviewed the response efforts during the aftermath of the November 2012 south side explosion and offered tips for ways to improve in the future.

Public Safety Director Troy Riggs believes what happened at Richmond Hill will help emergency crews respond to other disasters.

“Perfect planning makes perfect operations and that is why we are doing that here today, and I certainly believe that the citizens of Indianapolis deserve our best effort,” Riggs said.

More: Read the entire review

The Department of Public Safety called for a top-to-bottom look at how manpower and machinery were deployed last November in the neighborhood.

The blast was felt three miles from the epicenter and generated hundreds of 911 calls. First responders were able to pinpoint the exact location within four minutes.

“It was a difficult night, it was a chaotic night in many ways, but I saw first responders doing a tremendous job,” Riggs said.

The report credited off-duty police, doctors and nurses for being among the first to arrive on the south side.

The review also found areas for improvement.

Manny Mendez, the co-author of the report, said a better tracking system of victims in the disaster zone would help families keep better tabs on their loved ones.

He also said a clearer way of marking homes searched would help avoid duplicated efforts.

Another area for improvement included creating a central location for contractors to check in before they entered the recovery zone.

“So those are the little things that will add and enhance an already effective activity,” Mendez said.

The review included the work of many people including residents, first responders and politicians.

Riggs said different agencies will be assigned specific tasks for future accountability.

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