Fifty first responders from across the state recently completed an intense two-day training course on managing the challenges of liquid pipeline and storage tank incidents. The course, which was held at the Texas A&M Engineering Extension (TEEX) Service Center, was funded by a grant from ExxonMobil Pipeline.
“As a company that prioritizes safety, ExxonMobil is proud to partner with TEEX to create a program specifically focused on training firefighters to safely manage oil pipeline and tank emergencies,” said Johnita Jones, Vice President – Southern Operations Manager, ExxonMobil Pipeline Company. “While such incidents are infrequent, our goal is to make sure these firefighters and other first responders – many of whom are volunteers and the first line of defense in protecting our communities and the environment – are prepared and equipped to safely manage these types of emergencies.”
Local firefighters from Rockport participating in this training were Greg McClester, Michael Weenig, Harris Baker, Matthew Grimes, Aaron Littleton, Emma Thomas, and Justin Tunchez.
Texas has the largest pipeline infrastructure in the nation. With more than 466,000 miles of pipeline running through the state, training is critical for volunteer and municipal firefighters who would be on the front lines protecting their communities in case of emergency.
“Responding to liquid pipeline and tank incidents often requires executing strategies that are unique to these incidents and often do not involve fire. These classes are training more first responders to recognize and safely manage the challenges inherent in these emergencies,” said Gordon Lohmeyer, Executive Associate Director, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service. “Thanks to ExxonMobil’s support, TEEX is able to provide a specialized training opportunity that otherwise would not be available to these emergency responders from these local communities.”
ExxonMobil Pipeline’s grant to TEEX is part of the company’s ongoing effort to support first responders serving in the areas in which it operates pipelines and related facilities. Additionally, the company regularly provides funds to local fire departments to purchase needed equipment.