1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Refinery/Chemical Plant Fire Brigades/Departments


    I am in a class about industrial fire protection for as part of my Associate's in Fire Science, and I have a couple questions about refinery fire brigades and departments.

    First, what is the size of the brigade in terms of apparatus and manpower? Type (paid/volunteer)?
    Second, on average how many calls do you average annually?
    Of those responses how do they breakdown (fire, ems, hazmat, rescue, etc)?
    How many are bonified fires?
    Response protocols for a fire or hazmat?

    If you can answer any of the questions, I would greatly appreciate it. We were supposed to visit a refinery as a field trip, cancelled. A member of a nearby refinery was supposed to come in and cancelled twice already. Thank you in advance!!

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Great State of Texas


    Been an industrial guy for awhile. Instead of giving me hand cramps, email me and I'd be more than happy to talk with you public service.

    Keep in mind that each company decides to what level they respond (based on alot of factors) and how the brigades are set up. In addition to OSHA, various states have their own guidelines/recquirements.

    Another big factor is what are the chemicals your dealing with and what other facilities are nearby.

    I'm on the Houston Ship Channel so one facilities boo boo maybe become everyones issue.

    Regardless, would be happy to talk with you if you like.

    Be safe, R2


  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Houston, TX

    Default Chemical Site ERT's

    As a previous Chief of a chemical plant in south Texas, I will talk about my (former) site.

    Our ERT was made up of about 15-20 personnel per shift. All were full time operators that were volunteer members of the brigade. We had to change the setup of the organization to require all new operators to be ERT members (i.e. no longer volunteer). Being an ERT member was part of the responcibilities of being employed there. We had the same requirements for all operators and ERT members, so failure to pass medical screening meant you could not be employed there. Existing employees were grandfathered.

    We conducted at least 8 hours per month per shift training. We did Haz-Mat, rescue, medical and fire.

    We activated the team on average about monthly. During my time there, we averaged 2 fires per year, no rescue calls, numerous medical calls and mostly haz-mat (it was a vinyl and chlorine plant).

    Initial training consisted of 50 hours firefighting and haz-mat training. Over the next year, we trained to CPR, NIMS, rope rescue (58 hours), at least 30 hours of additional haz-mat and 8 hours firefighting.

    I now work for an engineering firm designing refinery/chemical plants (currently assigned to a new refinery going up in Brazil).

    Industrial/refinery response is much different than municipal fire departments.

    Depending on where you are at, I would consider being a guest speaker. My employer would likely support the trip.

    Feel free to give me a shout if you have more questions. I can be reached at scogginsj@earthlink.net.

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2001


    I will write about a refinery from Kuwait where Iím currently working in at HSE Department. We have 3 refineries and in each refinery has full time fire service. The fire station is working on 4 shifts, each shift is headed by shift fire office. So if you want to know the hierarchy of the fire service organization, I will would start from bottom up.

    Fire personnel starts from bottom to top with firefighters, senior firefighter, lead firefighter, equipment operator (who is qualified to run the fire engines plus running dispatch center), then after special training to be qualified as fire officer assigned as shift fire officer. If promoted then he becomes day duty fire officer who reports directly to chief fire officer. So the chief fire officer is the top of the hierarchy of the fire station.

    Each shift has 2 fire crew (crew consists of roughly 4-6 fire personnel), one responding to an emergency while the other crew will be standby for any other incident might occur while the first crew is busy dealing with. At the same time other neighboring refinery fire crew will go to the affected refinery and positioned in the fire station as standby.

    Basically the fire service main roles are responding to fire incidents and performing small or light rescue operation but not technical rescue operation because we have already a technical rescue team.

    Hope this will answer some of your questions

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