THE CUMBERLAND Trail Fire Department is an expert unit. It prides itself on quality service.
Cumberland Trail is also proactive when it comes to its training. That is why its first responders participated in some state-of-the-art exercises.
The St. Clairsville-based department had three of its members participate in the recent oilfield emergencies training workshops, hosted by the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program.
With the oil and gas boom becoming more prevalent in Eastern Ohio, such training makes good sense while better equipping firefighters with the ability to deal with such emergencies.
Lieutenants Steve Cupryk, Greg Probst and John Yemich of the Cumberland Trail Fire Department were among the 109 participants from throughout Ohio to learn how to respond to potential drilling and production site emergencies and other response resources over the two-day training workshop offered by OOGEEP.
OOGEEP is a pioneer in the field, as it created and implemented the nation's first Oilfield Emergency Response Training Program back in 2000. Since its inception, OOGEEP has trained more than 1,000 firefighters from eight states.
The safety program is comprehensive in nature. The training course provides background information 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 beauty of the program is the training program is funded 100 percent by Ohio's natural gas and crude oil operators, affirming that safety is at the forefront in the growing business.
The training that the three Cumberland Trail members received may prove invaluable. We commend the department for taking part. It is training, however, we hope that is never needed.