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ConocoPhillips-Alaska attends FastTrack 120 in Baton Rouge

Thursday, September 29, 2011

“I have attended other Technical Rescue training programs, and the instruction and training that I have received during this FAST TRACK 120 course has been within the top 3 courses I’ve attended in my 20 years in the Fire Service.” ~ Jason Kuni Diorec, Emergency Response Assistant Chief, ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc.During a recent FastTrack 120 class in Baton Rouge, we had the opportunity to talk with one of our students who traveled all the way from Alaska.

He told us of his plant’s unique needs based on their location and how they require a wide variety of emergency response skills to handle the responses in their remote area. FastTrack 120 is Roco’s most intense program and includes 12 days of confined space and high angle rope training. Certification testing based on NFPA is conducted at the end of the program, which includes individual skills testing, scenario-based performance evaluations, and a written exam.

Q: Why is this type of training important to your team?

FastTrack student, Will Rogillio, makes patient access through a horizontal pipe during a confined space exercise using SAR at the Roco Training Center in Baton Rouge.

A: We are a unique industrial facility due to our remote location on the Alaska North Slope. We are isolated from any emergency response services for miles, so we supplyour own emergency response services to protect life and property in the Boundaries of ConocoPhillips leased land.

This makes our responses very similar to any other Municipal Fire Department plus the industrial aspect as well, which includes: Hydrocarbon Fires, Structural Fires, Medical Emergencies, Haz Mat, Spill Response, and Technical Rescue.

Q: How or when could these techniques be used at your location?

A: Since our facility operates around the clock, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, our Technical Rescue team has the potential to be called upon at any time.

Student Joe Roske being lowered into a 24" shaft using rapid deployment techniques to make quick access to the patient in a confined space scenario.

Q: How has your team benefited from this training experience?

A: Our Technical Rescue Team has developed a very strong skills set in training and practice. This has allowed us to gain the confidence of the people we protect.

Q: What was your favorite part of the Roco class?

A: My personal favorite was the “hands-on” component. The repetitive skills stations followed by scenario-based practicals allowed me to acquire the skills that I would not have been able to comprehend just from a lecture and book information.

Q: How did you like training at the Roco Training Center (RTC)?

Using a SKED stretcher, Mark Snellgrove and Mike Vaccaro package their patient (Joe Roske) and prepare him for a raise and then a "pick and pivot" exercise over a low point edge.

A: The facility was impressive. It is designed to exceed any skill level of student with the right instructors.

Q: Why did you choose Roco Training?

A: My company, ConocoPhillips, has been trained by Roco for years. Roco has the techniques and skills that best meet our needs.

Special thanks to Jason Kuni Diorec for providing this information – and to Roco Instructors Russell Kellar (Chief Instructor) from Austin, Texas; Bob Kauer from New York; and Neal Thurman from Baton Rouge. We appreciate you guys!
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Roco Instructor receives US Marshals Officer of the Year Award

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Cop receives national award from U.S. Marshals for response to August shooting.

We are very proud to announce that Roco Chief Instructor Terry Addison was awarded “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” from the US Marshals Service last week in Washington, DC.

The Director’s Honorary Awards are given to recognize employees who perform in an exemplary manner and give dedicated service to the missions of the Marshals Service. A Director’s Award is the highest award given by the United States Marshals Service. In addition to teaching for Roco, Terry works for both the South Salt Lake City Fire and Police Departments. Congratulations, Terry, we are very proud of you!

To read the story in The Salt Lake Tribune click here.

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Katrina’s Bittersweet Reminder

Friday, June 03, 2011

Residents, family members and friends of the Gulf coast, particularly Louisiana and Mississippi, know the devastation Katrina left in her wake. They can vividly remember the pictures of stranded New Orleaneans on rooftops, floating on scrap metal and wood, houses completely submerged or demolished and looting occurring merely as a means for survival.

What people may not know is that if it weren’t for the highly qualified rescue teams that rushed in to save stranded people, the loss of life would have been substantially worse.


In his recently published book, “Lost in Katrina,” author Mikel Shafer tells us that the first bona fide rescue team to arrive in St. Bernard Parish (one of the hardest hit areas) was a Canadian Task Force from Vancouver, British Columbia. Tim Armstrong, Task Force Leader for Vancouver Urban Search and Rescue (as well as a long time Roco Chief Instructor and head of Roco Rescue of Canada, Inc.) received a call from the head of B.C.’s emergency preparedness office about trying to help Louisiana hurricane victims.

Many of the Canadian task force members were Roco-trained and some were even familiar with South Louisiana since Roco’s corporateoffice is located in Baton Rouge (just 50 miles west of the disaster zone). So the folks in Baton Rouge immediately got in touch with Governor Kathleen Blanco’s office to work out logistics for the USAR team.

The trek from the great white north to the swampy bayous of St. Bernard started Tuesday, but the rescue efforts lasted weeks. Tim Armstrong said that he and the others from BC became known as the “Mounties” in the post-Katrina rescue community. Nicknames like this provided a bit of comic relief, well-earned in the chaos of a wind and water ravaged city. With all that had happened, having the “Mounties” in town fit right in. To this day, the residents of St. Bernard Parish remain very grateful to the Canadian USAR team, who aided them in their darkest hour.

As hurricane season 2011 begins this month, we look back with a sense of gratitude to all first responders and rescue pros who never hesitated to respond. Of course, we hope we never need them, but if we do, we know they’ll be there to pull us out of crisis and into recovery. Even if it means traveling nearly 3,000 miles.

2011 hurricane season is expected to be well above average.

NOAA is predicting 12-18 tropical cyclones, 6-10 hurricanes, and 3-6 major hurricanes of Category-3 strength or higher (111 mph or higher). They are also predicting the overall season to be 105-200% of average according to the Accumulated Cyclone Energy index (a method used to account for the intensity and duration of named storms and hurricanes).

Three important ingredients have combined to produce this year’s active hurricane  forecast.

Water temperatures in the Atlantic are above normal. Warm water is the fuel for tropical cyclones.Reduced wind shear over the Atlantic Ocean is expected to persist through much of the hurricane season. Less wind shear aids tropical cyclone development by ensuring the storms are not torn apart by winds aloft, and is critical to a storm’s long-term survival. We are currently in a multi-decade cycle of above average activity that began in 1995.

The good news? NOAA forecast does not consider landfall. We could have an extremely active hurricane season where most of the activity stays over water and has little impact on land. However, it only takes one land-falling hurricane to cause a disaster. Our best advice?

BE PREPARED!
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Customized Rescue Training for Enterprise Products

Friday, May 13, 2011

These pictures are from the Enterprise Products (Port Allen, LA) class earlier this week at Roco Training Center. They scheduled a private “Refresher” course for the rescue team. It was a great class and an energetic group!

Here’s a comment from one of the students…“First time at Roco. Great facility & instructors. Learned new ways to perform activities. Just enough classroom time…most of the time needs to be spent in the field.”

Chief instructors for this class were Chris Hansen and Mike Adams. Thanks for hanging with Roco!

     
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Fast Track to Technical Rescue

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Orange (Texas) Fire Department recently completed Roco’s Fast-Track™ 120 course, which is arguably the ultimate rope rescue training experience. 

This 120-hour program works on techniques to produce a “well-rounded” rescuer who is capable of safely and effectively responding to a wide variety of confined space and rope rescue incidents.

Why is this type of training important for fire departments? OFD Deputy Chief, Jerald Ziller explains.

“A highly skilled technical rescue team is a tradition and has been deemed essential for the City of Orange Fire Department.  Our technical rescue team is partially funded by local industry which utilizes our team as the primary responders or as a secondary resource.  This collaborative effort has been in existence since the early 1990’s.  The residual effect of this training is a highly effective technical rescue team available to non-industrial situations that occur more frequently.  Most of the members of our team were trained by ROCO but we changed to utilize locally available training vendors for the past several years.  We realized that changing the basic foundation of our training affected the final performance of our teams training evolutions and possibly actual response capability.  We decided to return to ROCO for our basic training utilizing a ROCO instructor at our training facility for private training.  We feel the cost of the training as compared to the other vendors we have utilized recently is a greatest overall value.  The training was partially funded by a grant from the Texas Forest Service which added to the best overall value.”



The skills learned in Fast-Track™ 120 are put to work in many situations encountered by fire department personnel. “Technical rescue capability has been utilized by the Orange Fire Department on many occasions both in the industrial setting and during responses to other areas within the city.  The most frequent industrial responses are at shipbuilding or ship repair facilities.  We have utilized these skills for victims in a building collapse, construction sites, and manholes…

A relatively new service we offer to our industrial partners is confined space rescue stand-by.  Our pre-planning skills and industrial environment familiarization have been greatly improved by this service.  It gives our team members the opportunity to earn overtime wages with a neutral cost to the city because the industrial partner reimburses the city for the overtime charges,”  said Deputy Chief Jerald Ziller.

With a large concentration of industrial facilities within its response area, the Orange Fire Department has a unique responsibility to the community as well as the surrounding industries who play such a vital role in the local economy. In delivering the highest level of service, it is important for OFD Firefighters to be trained in both Confined Space and Rope Rescue techniques.

“A well-trained and equipped rescue team is essential to meet the needs of the community as well as local industry. An efficient and effective response only serves to further enhance the trust and confidence of all its citizens,” Roco Chief Instructor, Russell Kellar elaborated.

Fast-Track™ 120 is the ultimate rope rescue experience, preparing rescuers for an effective response to a wide variety of incidents. Perfect for municipal fire departments who need a good range of skills in confined space and rope rescue. OFD Fire Chief, David Frenzel, couldn’t agree more.

A special thanks to Roco Chief Instructor Russell Kellar for providing this information. Russ has been a Roco Instructor since 1993 and has taught Confined Space & Rope Rescue to many hundreds of students over the years at locations all across the nation. He is currently a Lieutenant with the Austin (TX) Fire Department and has served his community for the past 23 years. Russ is also a member of TX-Task Force 1 and has served on multiple deployments since joining the Task Force in 1997.

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