Governor Praises Response Efforts to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Fire

May 24, 2012

For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 24, 2012
Contact: Adrienne Bennett (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul LePage today expressed gratitude for the professional and swift multi-agency response to the fire on board the U.S.S. Miami submarine at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Wednesday evening.

The Governor was in close contact with MEMA Director/Acting DVEM Commissioner Rob McAleer and Shipyard officials throughout Wednesday evening.

"I want to recognize the skill and dedication of those responding to the fire." Governor LePage said today. "The heat, smoke and close quarters made this a very dangerous response. Our thoughts are with the 7 firefighters and crew members who were injured. We're grateful that their injuries were not severe, and we wish them a speedy recovery."

"Portsmouth Naval Shipyard has extensive emergency plans and procedures and a broad mutual aid network," McAleer said, “the Shipyard exercises their plans often, with MEMA, York County Emergency Management, other federal agencies and neighboring communities in both Maine and New Hampshire. An event like this shows the importance of all that pre-planning, coordination and practice."

Firefighters from York, Kittery, Eliot, South Berwick and South Portland responded to the Shipyard. The Maine Emergency Management Agency was able to assist by locating and coordinating with additional response resources. York County Emergency Management Agency also responded with a Mobile Command Vehicle and additional communications capability.