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Volunteer Brigade
ConocoPhillips in Los Angeles Links Two Facilities With One Brigade
Volume 22 Number 5

Emergency responders at the ConocoPhillips Los Angeles Refinery (LAR) recently completed a round of additional training at the University of Nevada Reno, Fire Science Academy in Carlin, NV.? Richard Wells, a Senior Health and Safety Field Representative for the refinery was interviewed by Industrial Fire World while training at the Carlin facility.? The ConocoPhillips LAR Emergency Response Team (ERT) has approximately 80 volunteers with levels of experience ranging from one year to up to as much as thirty years.

The Los Angeles Refinery is composed of two linked facilities located roughly five miles apart in Carson and Wilmington, CA, about 15 miles southeast of the Los Angeles International Airport. The refinery has a crude oil processing capacity of 138 MB/D and processes mainly heavy, high sulfur crudes. Crude oil is received via pipeline and tanker from both foreign and domestic sources.

Facilities at Carson include a crude unit, a coker and a sulfur recovery unit.? Facilities at Wilmington include a fluid catalytic cracker, alkylation unit and hydrocracker. Finished products are distributed to customers in California, Nevada and Arizona?

Between the two facilities at least 10 emergency responders are on duty each shift, Wells said. "During day shift there will be more because we have quite a few maintenance people who are volunteers on the ERT."

As for equipment, each facility has its own pumper and foam tenders, Wells said. The pumpers are rated at 1,500 gpm each. Aside from the large apparatus, ConocoPhillips also utilizes monitors mounted in two quick attack trucks at each facility.

"These are full ton truck chassis with a utility bed, plus the monitors above the cab," Wells said. "We have one of them set up for rescue and one of them set up for hazardous materials response at each site.?

Despite a major investment in apparatus, the first line of defense against fire is our Mechanical Intergrity Program.? However, if a fire would occur then we would rely on our fixed and portable monitors throughout both facilities.? The pumpers would be placed in service to support the fixed monitors.

With regard to training, the ConocoPhillips brigade will be trained in confined space rescue, high angle rescue and other areas requiring expertise including hazardous material response.

"The quality of training available at FSA has enabled brigade members to refine their skills in the principles of fire protection for their industrial environment. It also gives them the opportunity to build team spirit and recognize each other's strengths and abilities. They are committed to the responsibilities they have chosen to accept. This training assures they are ready to fulfill their response duties."


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