Article Archive
Rookies Move Up
ExxonMobil refinery trains at Texas A&M
Volume 24, No. 1

Fifteen rookie firefighters were among nearly 50 volunteer firefighters from the ExxonMobil refinery-chemical plant complex in Baton Rouge, LA, attending semi-annual training conducted at Texas A&M's Emergency Services Training Institute in November.

"Most of our veterans have been fighting fire for 25 or 30 years," said Rob Davidson, fire chief for ExxonMobil in Baton Rouge. "We've also got some younger guys we're bringing along with the team."

In Baton Rouge, LA, the ExxonMobil complex maintains a primary fire squad that handles fire in early stages and a volunteer fire brigade that responds if more help is needed. Baton Rouge is one of the largest and most integrated refining and petrochemical hubs in the world.

Training for the volunteers circulates between Texas A&M and fire schools in Beaumont, TX, Baton Rouge and Jacksonville, MS.

The latest round of training emphasized the fundamentals, Davidson said.

"We've gone back to the basics of operating handlines, operations and getting guys back to where they need to be on teamwork in operating handlines," he said.

Joining the ExxonMobil volunteers were Louisiana state hazardous materials officials and six responders with the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), a deepwater port near the town of Port Fourchon. LOOP provides tanker offloading and temporary storage services for crude oil transported on some of the largest tankers in the world.

"Some of these guys were busy with storms and could not make their scheduled training, so we worked them into Chief Davidson's class," said Greg Galliano, LOOP fire chief.

As with the ExxonMobil brigade, LOOP is emphasizing leadership for younger firefighters, he said.

"We are watching the younger leaders who are being forced into action," Galliano said. "Myself included, our key leaders are reaching the point where we need to transfer that leadership. The younger guys who have been on the fire brigade for a while realize it's time for them to step up."


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