Firefighters team up with Encana for derrick rescue training

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WELD COUNTY — A lot of the time, economic development and public safety generally intersect with a building inspector looking over a new storefront being built or renovations being checked for code violations.

But in Southwest Weld County, some of the biggest movers and shakers in business — oil and gas operators — require something a bit more technical.


That’s why Encana Oil & Gas recently coordinated with the Frederick-Firestone Fire Protection District, Mountain View Fire Rescue, Longmont Fire and Fort Lupton Fire for a June 11 derrick rescue training session.

According to Frederick-Firestone FPD spokeswoman Summer Stair, the objective of the training session was to rescue a 187-pound dummy — representing an unconscious victim — from an oil derrick tower.

Between the firefighters from the four agencies and representatives from Encana, crews worked through three different evolutions, using a different form of rescue each time to bring the dummy down; each attempt was successful.

“Anytime that we are given the opportunity to enhance our capabilities to respond to technically challenging events, such as oil derrick emergencies, we welcome that training and want to thank our community partners at Encana Oil and our neighboring fire districts for their collaborative participation during today’s training scenarios,” said Doug Prunk, Division Chief of Life Safety of Frederick-Firestone F.P.D.

  Another way that Encana has assisted fire crews is by building a mobile emergency center that is available to use during large-scale incidents such as the September 2013 floods. The center is fully equipped with cameras, computers, a speakerphone, Polycom hard hats and all other technology needs to increase communication and organization at an incident.

Fire officials credit the mobile emergency center with making it easier to make decisions quickly and efficiently when there is an emergency.

“If you need us there, we will be there,” said Danny Knutson, Manager of Field Safety at Encana Oil & Gas.