Firefighters get oilfield emergency training

Members of Braceville and Champion fire departments received specialized training at the Responding to Oilfield Emergencies training workshops in April and May.

Braceville firefighters Lt. Anthony Campano, Broc Baltes, Joseph Campano and Colton Garland, and Champion firefighters Capts. Tom Dempsey and Charles Joseph were among 70 participants from 21 Ohio fire departments to learn how to respond to potential drilling and production site emergencies and were given other response resources over the two-day training workshop.

Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program, or OOGEEP, created and implemented the nation’s first oilfield emergency response training program. Since 2000, more than 1,000 Ohio firefighters from around the state have participated in the program, along with firefighters from seven other states.

“Ohio citizens should be honored that many other energy producing regions have looked to Ohio as a model to set up similar safety programs in their respective states,” said Rhonda Reda, executive director of OOGEEP.

The training course provides background and practical guidelines to assist responders in communicating and evaluating a potential emergency site, and the ability to respond to both drilling and production emergencies. The hands-on training portion includes “live burns” utilizing both crude oil and natural gas props.

The training program is funded by Ohio’s natural gas and crude oil operators. OOGEEP facilitates educational, scholarship, safety and training programs and helps to promote public awareness about the industry.