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Employees volunteer for first in-house emergency response team

When most people experience an emergency, they know to call 9-1-1 for help. When a petrochemical facility experiences an emergency, they rely first on their own in-house emergency response team (ERT) made up of volunteer employees trained in industrial firefighting, hazardous material handling, rescues, and medical care.


The new employees hired this past year to work at the future Golden Triangle Polymers facility in Orange County, TX have various jobs from process operations and maintenance technicians to engineers and administrative support. Forty-eight of those new employees have also volunteered to serve on the facility’s first emergency response team.


“Employees specially trained in emergency response will serve an essential role at our facility once operational. They truly are our first line of defense in maintaining safe and reliable operations,” said Adam Brown, environmental, health, safety, and security manager at Golden Triangle Polymers.


The volunteers collect more than 100 hours of specialized training per year to earn and maintain key certifications that enables them to respond to any type of emergency quickly and effectively at a petrochemical facility. Triangle Rescue, located in Orange, TX, is one of Golden Triangle Polymers’ Local First vendors and provides classroom and hands-on training for ERT members, including industrial firefighting, hazardous material spill response, confined space and high-angle rescue, and emergency medical care.


The team, however, spends four days per year at a special fire training school at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX, where their knowledge is expanded to include hands-on fire training in an industrial environment, equipping them with the skills and knowledge necessary to capture, contain and extinguish different types of fires.


“Having a well-trained ERT ready to respond to plant emergencies is key. Trained emergency responders can stay calm and keep a clear head in very stressful situations. They have a high level of commitment to the team and stand ready to employ their exceptional abilities at a moment’s notice,” said Bobby Wiley, fire and safety supervisor at Golden Triangle Polymers.


The goal is to eventually grow the Golden Triangle Polymers emergency response team to 75 volunteer members. With a team this large, they will be able to also assist other facilities in the area in need of emergency support, also known as mutual aid. Golden Triangle Polymers is a member of Sabine Neches Chiefs Association’s Mutual Aid Organization and the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) of Orange County.