Three Rivers Refinery Training

    Firefighters with the 100,000 barrels-a-day Valero refinery in Three Rivers, TX, will make the trip to the Brayton Fire Training Field in College Station, TX, at least once a year, said new superintendent of emergency services J.T. Woodlee. “We have four shifts and I bring each shift up here once each year for a 16-hour refresher course,” he said. Woodlee brought 23 brigade members to Brayton in October. One hundred and nine members strong, the Three Rivers brigade is a combination of mandatory and volunteer responders. One objective of the refresher training is to give responders a better idea of the entire fire operation rather than just their role, Woodlee said. “We’ve slowed down our attack process to give the team a better overall understanding of what their roles on the fire field represent,” Woodlee said. Located an hour and a half from both San Antonio and Corpus Christi,...
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Storage Tank Fall Protection Liability of Tank Owners

  David Michaels, the assistant labor secretary who heads the U.S Labor Department’s OSHA, emphasizes the importance of saving lives by planning, training employees and providing the right equipment for fall protection. He also states in his stand-down address that the “lack of fall protection” is the most frequently cited OSHA violation2. Employers are responsible for enforcing these regulations and water tank owners are no exception. Tank owners are required to maintain their tanks in accordance with all federal, state and local regulations that apply to each tank. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), American Water Works Association (AWWA) and OSHA have devised codes, timetables and standards that must be followed to help maintain tanks safely and prevent accidents. Maintain the Tank Tanks must be maintained in a safe and structurally sound condition to remain in compliance. Regulatory inspections, standard repairs and necessary upgrades are needed. Inspect tanks, structural attachments and...
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Shipboard Fire Fighting for Industrial Teams

    This is the second of a two part series on shipboard fire fighting. Part one (see Summer 2014) covers the basic shipboard environment and intends to identify the potential need for training. Part two is an overview of shipboard fire fighting operations. Size-Up and Establishing a Unified Command When initially responding to a shipboard fire, conduct a scene size-up and begin to establish a unified command. These actions go hand in hand as much of the required is obtained from those in the unified command, which generally begin with the ship’s Master and crew. They provide you with much needed information and expertise as well as determine if anyone is allowed to operate on their vessel.   An important part of the initial size-up is to obtain copies of the ship’s documents, most notably the fire control plan which is basically a floor plan of the ship. The plans...
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Proper Use of Elevated Platforms

      Risk Assessment Proper use of elevated master streams   By JOHN FRANK/XL Global Asset Protection Services The motivation for this article is a review by the author of recent major industrial building fires where sprinklers were either needed but not installed, failed due to being improperly shut off, or were not adequate for protecting the hazard. In these cases, proper use of elevated master streams helps contain the fire to the building of origin and prevents spread to attached or nearby buildings. Fundamental Concepts If sprinklers are struggling to control a fire, initial fire service water delivery should be devoted to augmenting the sprinkler system through the fire department connection or other connections to the system. This has been discussed at length in other articles. If sprinklers are not installed, or have failed such that a partial or complete building collapse has destroyed the sprinkler piping, consider the...
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Building An Appreciation BP Conducts Fire School in Texas

    Taking a hand at fire fighting during the semi-annual BP corporate fire school held at Texas A&M University’s Brayton Fire Training Field gave BP crises manager Alicia Matthews a new perspective on the people she supervises. “I’ve never done a training like this before in my life,” Matthews said. “I’ve always appreciated fire fighting, but now ... ” In Trinidad and Tobago, BP contracts for fire protection. Matthews works with industrial fire brigades to coordinate drills and exercises. Crises management personnel are required to attend the corporate fire school at least once to gain an understand of exactly what the fire fighters do, Matthews said. Randy Fletcher, BP’s Global Response Advisor, was on hand for the school held in October. Fifty students from as far away as Malaysia and Egypt attended the school. “This school represents our expectation to deliver minimum confidence and capabilities to any of our frontline...
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Fear The Heat

Fear the Heat Oxygen and fuel are readily available in hydrocarbon storage tanks. Only one more element is needed to complete the triangle of combustion. Everybody with good sense is cautious with gasoline. In open air it releases highly flammable vapor that quickly spreads over a wide area. Other hydrocarbon products such as motor oil, diesel or transmission fluid are nowhere near as volatile. Confine gasoline to a storage tank and everything changes. Think about the fire triangle – heat, fuel and an oxidizing agent such as oxygen. Because gasoline vaporizes so rapidly any space above the liquid is likely to be too rich to ignite -- too much fuel and too little oxygen. Split Second of Warning Before Oklahoma Tank Explosion Video From the Oklahoma Bullet Tank Explosion Other hydrocarbon products that vaporize at a slower rate pose a greater threat when stored. Each withdrawal sucks outside atmosphere into the...
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SIMULATED EXPLOSION SERVES AS EMERGENCY DRILL AT PROCTOR & GAMBLE IN LOUISIANA PINEVILLE, La. (KALB) - A community awareness and emergency response drill was led Wednesday (Jan. 11, 2017) by P&G's site security leader Jerry Edwards. To read the entire article,  CLICK HERE .
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Henry D. Smith 1917 - 2017

Services set for Saturday, January 14 at First Baptist Church in Bryan, TX Henry D. Smith, 99, of Bryan, TX, who led Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service’s former fire protection training division from 1957 to 1986 and is credited with expanding the agency’s reputation internationally, passed away January 11, 2017 at Hospice Brazos Valley Inpatient Facility in Bryan. Services are set for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, January 14 at First Baptist Church in Bryan with Mr. Ben Kennedy officiating. Burial will follow at College Station Cemetery. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Memorial Funeral Chapel in Bryan. A reception will be held following the burial at the Brayton Fire Training Field in the Henry D. Smith Building, 1595 Nuclear Science, Bldg 25, College Station, Texas 77843. Henry was born in San Antonio, TX on March 3, 1917, and grew up in Kingsville, TX. Chief Smith was active in...
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