Fluorine foams remain indispensable to industrial firefighting, expert says

  Opponents of firefighting foam containing fluorinated chemicals fail to fairly weigh the overwhelming benefits of these products against evidence that exposure can ultimately lead to adverse health effects in humans, said Mitch Hubert, a leading chemist or “formulator” working in this specialized market. Speaking to an international audience of industrial fire responders in October, Hubert said that fluorinated foams are under attack from an environmental standpoint on a worldwide basis.  “That has really led us to a crossroads in the firefighting foam industry,” he said. “Do we stay with fluorinated foams or go to non-fluorinated foams? There are advantages and disadvantages on both sides of that argument.” Chief among the disadvantages for industrial firefighters is the lack of a substantial track record of success using non-fluorinated foam, Hubert said. “Fluorine free foams have not proven to be as effective in large catastrophic fire,” he said. “This is much of what...
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New AR-AFFF hits industrial fire market

    Success is accomplishing a particular objective, goal or aim. Failure is the inability to achieve success. In industrial firefighting, the main factor that distinguishes the two is the selection of tools, industrial fire protection giant Dwight Williams told firefighters in October. “Bottom line, what’s the difference between you and me?” Williams asked. “I’m a little older, a little taller maybe than some of you, but not any smarter or braver. It’s the selection of tools and equipment that makes the difference.” Successful extinguishment is the value of the product saved being greater than the cost of extinguishment, including lost time injuries, Williams told firefighters attending the US Fire Pump Big Water Symposium in Baton Rouge. Just being on hand when the fire finally goes out does not count as a success, he said. With more than 100 major industrial emergency operations to his credit, Williams joined with US Fire...
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Chemical Safety Board preliminary report links refinery blasts in Wisconsin and California to cracking unit failures

A preliminary report released this week by the Chemical Safety Board blames recent refinery explosions in Superior, WI and Torrance, CA on the inadvertent mixing of hydrocarbons with air inside the Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit that found an ignition source, resulting in an explosion.   On April 26, 2018, an explosion (Figure 1) and subsequent fire (Figure 2) occurred at the Superior Refinery Company LLC refinery in Superior, Wisconsin (“Husky Superior Refinery”).1 The incident occurred in the refinery’s Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit (FCCU). As a result of the explosion, thirty-six people sought medical attention, including eleven refinery and contract workers who suffered OSHA recordable injuries. In addition, a portion of Superior,2 Wisconsin was evacuated. Evidence collected to date suggests similarities with a previous investigation of the February 18, 2015 explosion at a refinery in Torrance, CA.   On Wednesday, February 18, 2015, an explosion occurred in the ExxonMobil Torrance, California refinery’s...
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ExxonMobil still off hook for worker's severe injuries at Joliet plant in 2013, state appeals court rules

  CHICAGO - A state appeals panel has said ExxonMobil can't be held accountable for severe injuries suffered by a worker in a mishap at the company's Joliet refinery, affirming a Cook County judge's findings that the oil and gas company had limited or no knowledge of the contract employer's allegedly unsafe procedures on the job site.   To read the entire article, CLICK HERE
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Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery helps keep Whatcom County safe

  Whatcom County, WA - Over the years, Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery and their employees have done a lot to help Whatcom County.   To read the rest of this article, CLICK HERE .
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Montana man sentenced to jail term for mislabeling and falsifying records related to transporting explosive materials

Montana man sentenced to jail term for mislabeling and falsifying records related to transporting explosive materials
BILLINGS, MT - A Montana trucking company owner received a jail sentence of one year and a day in prison Friday on charges related to a December 2012 explosion at an oil processing plant that injured three employees. U.S. District Judge Susan Watters ordered Donald Wood, Jr. of Baker and his company, Woody's Trucking, to pay $1.3 million in penalties and restitution. The United States obtained a guilty verdict in United States v. Woody’s Trucking, LLC and Donald E. Wood, Jr. after an eight-day jury trial in Billings, Montana.  Both defendants were charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud, placarding violations and obstruction of justice stemming from an explosion at an oil and gas processing facility in Wibaux, Montana.  The defendants were convicted of 13 of 14 counts.  The one count of acquittal related to one of the placarding violations.  Forfeiture in the case amounts to $644,689.70. On December 29, 2012, a driver for...
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Montana man sentenced to jail term for mislabeling and falsifying records related to transporting explosive materials

BILLINGS, MT - A Montana trucking company owner received a jail sentence of one year and a day in prison Friday on charges related to a December 2012 explosion at an oil processing plant that injured three employees.   U.S. District Judge Susan Watters ordered Donald Wood, Jr. of Baker and his company, Woody's Trucking, to pay $1.3 million in penalties and restitution.   The United States obtained a guilty verdict in United States v. Woody’s Trucking, LLC and Donald E. Wood, Jr. after an eight-day jury trial in Billings, Montana.  Both defendants were charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud, placarding violations and obstruction of justice stemming from an explosion at an oil and gas processing facility in Wibaux, Montana.  The defendants were convicted of 13 of 14 counts.  The one count of acquittal related to one of the placarding violations.  Forfeiture in the case amounts to $644,689.70.   On December 29, 2012,...
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Dave's Notes: A captain named obvious

Working any kind of firefighting magic at an industrial conflagration requires one basic component – water. And, yet, as incontrovertible as that fact is, it is amazing how often responders have to scrape together major moisture on short notice at facilities where the need for water is as obvious as oranges are called oranges because they are orange. No, I am not referring to the 1989 Pasadena, TX, chemical plant explosion and fire. As much as I enjoy dwelling on that high point in my firefighting career the fire water system at Pasadena would have been up to the challenge had not the initial blast sheared off every available hydrant at ground level. I mean companies who do not even bother installing the hydrants. In 2002 a fire at a petroleum blending and packaging plant in Pearland, TX threatened nearly 1.2 million gallons of motor oil, hydraulic fluids and lubricants. Yet,...
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Valero firefighters in Memphis train on their own fire field

  For most industrial emergency responders, live-fire training is a treat reserved for occasional visits to Brayton Fire Training Field in Texas or the state fire academies back home. But at Valero Energy’s 195,000 barrel-per-day refinery in Memphis, TN training with live fire is the norm, not the exception. Valero Memphis operates its own fire field on site, complete with live-fire training props, said Nick Fazzio, chief of the Valero Memphis emergency response team.  “We’re really lucky that we can do live fire training in our refinery Fazzio said. “We like to take advantage of it.” Once relatively common, refineries with on-site training for emergency responders are becoming harder to find. Most have long since been taken over by the necessities of expanding production with only limited property available. “We bring the Memphis municipal firefighters into our facility to train,” as well as bring them with us to TEEX to give...
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TEEX holds 56th annual industrial fire training

  Seven hundred and thirteen industrial emergency response brigades members and safety officers from some of the world’s largest energy and chemical companies attended the 56th annual Industrial Fire School at Brayton Fire Training Field last July in Texas. The students represent 17 countries and 32 U.S. states. Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) staffers and 267 specially recruited guest instructors conducted the training. Bill Burket of Shell has attended every summer school for the  last 19 years. Now a guest instructor he teaches NFPA 1080 exterior firefighting. “We get a lot of municipal firefighters,” he said. “We try to introduce them to the different approach needed for big fires.” As children, Burket brought his two children to witness the school. Today, his oldest holds a degree in industrial safety. His youngest, Michael, 19, now pursuing the same degree, returned to Brayton this year with his father. David Bartek of Charlotte,...
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Williams Fire & Hazard Control legendary industrial fire event returns to Brayton Fire Field

    One hundred and fifty participants from nine countries representing 63 different companies attended the 25th annual XTREME Fire and Hazard Training in June at Brayton Fire Training Field in College Station, TX. Chauncey Naylor, director of training and emergency response for Johnson Control’s Williams Fire & Hazard Control, celebrating a quarter century as one of the premier events on the industrial fire training calendar deserves recognition. “Just about everything that has gone into that 25-year history is something you’re going to witness today,” Naylor told the audience for the opening day general session. “Along with our sales and response team, sixteen guest instructors representing all aspects of industrial emergency response conducted the combination of classroom and live-fire training that makes the XTREME event unique,” said Naylor. “We had a star studded group of guest instructors from industry,” he said. “We need to acknowledge with deep graditude that industry really...
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461 Hits

Dave's Notes: A captain named obvious

Dave's Notes: A captain named obvious
Working any kind of firefighting magic at an industrial conflagration requires one basic component – water. And, yet, as incontrovertible as that fact is, it is amazing how often responders have to scrape together major moisture on short notice at facilities where the need for water is as obvious as oranges are called oranges because they are orange. No, I am not referring to the 1989 Pasadena, TX, chemical plant explosion and fire. As much as I enjoy dwelling on that high point in my firefighting career the fire water system at Pasadena would have been up to the challenge had not the initial blast sheared off every available hydrant at ground level. I mean companies who do not even bother installing the hydrants. In 2002 a fire at a petroleum blending and packaging plant in Pearland, TX threatened nearly 1.2 million gallons of motor oil, hydraulic fluids and lubricants. Yet,...
Continue reading
540 Hits

Valero firefighters in Memphis train on their own fire field

Valero firefighters in Memphis train on their own fire field
For most industrial emergency responders, live-fire training is a treat reserved for occasional visits to Brayton Fire Training Field in Texas or the state fire academies back home. But at Valero Energy’s 195,000 barrel-per-day refinery in Memphis, TN training with live fire is the norm, not the exception. Valero Memphis operates its own fire field on site, complete with live-fire training props, said Nick Fazzio, chief of the Valero Memphis emergency response team.  “We’re really lucky that we can do live fire training in our refinery Fazzio said. “We like to take advantage of it.” Once relatively common, refineries with on-site training for emergency responders are becoming harder to find. Most have long since been taken over by the necessities of expanding production with only limited property available. “We bring the Memphis municipal firefighters into our facility to train,” as well as bring them with us to TEEX to give them...
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486 Hits

TEEX holds 56th annual industrial fire training

4
Seven hundred and thirteen industrial emergency response brigades members and safety officers from some of the world’s largest energy and chemical companies attended the 56th annual Industrial Fire School at Brayton Fire Training Field last July in Texas. The students represent 17 countries and 32 U.S. states. Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) staffers and 267 specially recruited guest instructors conducted the training. Bill Burket of Shell has attended every summer school for the  last 19 years. Now a guest instructor he teaches NFPA 1080 exterior firefighting. “We get a lot of municipal firefighters,” he said. “We try to introduce them to the different approach needed for big fires.” As children, Burket brought his two children to witness the school. Today, his oldest holds a degree in industrial safety. His youngest, Michael, 19, now pursuing the same degree, returned to Brayton this year with his father. David Bartek of Charlotte, NC,...
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544 Hits

Williams Fire & Hazard Control legendary industrial fire event returns to Brayton Fire Field

Industrial Fire World
One hundred and fifty participants from nine countries representing 63 different companies attended the 25th annual XTREME Fire and Hazard Training in June at Brayton Fire Training Field in College Station, TX. Chauncey Naylor, director of training and emergency response for Johnson Control’s Williams Fire & Hazard Control, celebrating a quarter century as one of the premier events on the industrial fire training calendar deserves recognition. “Just about everything that has gone into that 25-year history is something you’re going to witness today,” Naylor told the audience for the opening day general session. “Along with our sales and response team, sixteen guest instructors representing all aspects of industrial emergency response conducted the combination of classroom and live-fire training that makes the XTREME event unique,” said Naylor. “We had a star studded group of guest instructors from industry,” he said. “We need to acknowledge with deep graditude that industry really supports this...
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608 Hits

Dwight Williams returns to fire protection with Signature series foam product

  HOLDEN, LA – US Fire Pump is proud to announce the release of Dwight Williams' newest product, Signature Series Foam.   Dwight Williams has over 100 major successful operations of extinguishment and control of hazardous situations under his belt, including two of the largest, extinguished tank fires this nation has seen – Orion Refinery in New Orleans, LA and Tenneco Refinery in Chalmette, LA. Additionally, with Dwight Williams’ leadership his team pioneered the development of specialized equipment and methodology so unique they were patented during his ownership of a large, industrial firefighting company. Dwight re-defined extinguishment by making it faster and safer with less exposure to the firefighter.   Dwight has always “Thought Outside the Box” and is continuing to develop new products that reduce risk, minimize exposure and save life and property. His new foam product is a testament to that fact. Dwight has been working diligently to develop...
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Dwight Williams returns to fire protection with Signature series foam product

dwightwilliams
HOLDEN, LA – US Fire Pump is proud to announce the release of Dwight Williams' newest product, Signature Series Foam.   Dwight Williams has over 100 major successful operations of extinguishment and control of hazardous situations under his belt, including two of the largest, extinguished tank fires this nation has seen – Orion Refinery in New Orleans, LA and Tenneco Refinery in Chalmette, LA. Additionally, with Dwight Williams’ leadership his team pioneered the development of specialized equipment and methodology so unique they were patented during his ownership of a large, industrial firefighting company. Dwight re-defined extinguishment by making it faster and safer with less exposure to the firefighter. Dwight has always “Thought Outside the Box” and is continuing to develop new products that reduce risk, minimize exposure and save life and property. His new foam product is a testament to that fact. Dwight has been working diligently to develop a foam...
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Volunteer firefighters prepare for large plant fires in Mississippi

LOWNDES COUNTY, MS. – In many rural counties of Mississippi sits factories, plants, and warehouses that may have been built many years ago.   With the real possibility of a fire, volunteer fire fighters must be prepared for anything.   To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.   .
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Johnson Controls makes the future of fire and life safety smarter and faster

  The latest versions of NFPA 72 and the International Building Code (IBC) spell out new requirements for the creation of areas of refuge within buildings that meet specific size or height parameters. An area of refuge is an interior location specially designed to keep occupants safe during a fire or other emergency. They are meant to provide safe places to shelter when immediate evacuation may not be physically possible or, as with the control room of a massive plant or refinery, operationally advisable.   In addition to fire rated construction and a steady supply of fresh air, an area of refuge is also required to have a means of two-way communications that allows occupants to speak with first responders, inform them of their status and keep informed of rescue efforts.    A NEW WAY TO COMMUNICATE To meet these new requirements, Johnson Controls developed a digital, emergency two-way communications system...
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Phillips 66 tracks firefighters' cardiac health

    Medical surveillance is the analysis of health information to uncover problems in the workplace. For Timothy Raycob, director of compliance for medical surveillance at Phillips 66, much of the job means closely monitoring personnel for exposure to hazardous materials.   “We have more than 9,000 people in Phillips 66 who are enrolled in various regulatory programs,” Raycob said. “With specific hazards, they have to get exams at specific frequencies. I’m responsible for tracking compliance.”   Carcinogens such as benzene and organic lead rank highest on Raycob’s watch list. But in 2012, Stephen Pepper, Phillips 66 director of crisis management HSE compliance and services, asked him to extend monitoring to include hazards common to industrial firefighting – heat and stress.     “He asked us to develop a medical rehab and monitoring program for his crisis management schools, which include the corporate fire and rescue school,” Raycob said.   Trained...
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