County, Fire Academy Team For Gas Well Emergency Training

Potter County Today

Potter County Department of Emergency Services is getting in on the ground floor of a state-sponsored training program to prepare first responders and community leaders for emergency and public safety incidents at natural gas wells. Details of the training will be announced soon. Potter County is working with the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy to bring the program to the area.

The natural gas industry is supporting the initiative, which features new components targeted specifically at public safety issues associated with shale gas production. It will cover a host of topics, from what to expect upon arriving at a well site, to how to coordinate with on-site industry personnel, giving first-responders the tools needed to effectively respond to the broad range of scenarios.

Meanwhile, Congress is considering a bill designed to improve emergency response at oil and gas wells. The measure would require operators to:

  • Have an employee knowledgeable in responding to emergency situations present at the well at all times during the exploration or drilling phase;
  • Make available a certified response team, within one hour of ground travel time.
  • Contact local first responders within 15 minutes of an emergency; and contact OSHA and the National Response Center within one hour;
  • Provide communication technology at the site (e.g., mobile communication or satellite phone);
  • Provide annual training to local first responders.

Courtesy of the Potter County Commissioners.


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