“How you practice is how you perform. We are happy to extend the Ergon value of empowered service to the first responders we rely on to support emergency response efforts and care for our people.”
– Michael Kinard, Director of Operations Excellence, Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions
Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions (EA&E) hosted the Spokane Valley Fire Department as they conducted their confined-space rescue training sessions in October and November 2021. During these sessions, special operations rescue groups utilized an empty tank at EA&E’s Spokane Valley location to train for first aid and retrieval out of confined space scenarios.
“We’ve trained in tanks in the past, but this was our first one at an Ergon facility,” said Tony Perry, Spokane Valley Fire Department Captain and head of confined-space training. “Each confined space is different, but having an opportunity to train in a place that’s a little more unique than what we’d have in other industrial settings proved helpful to us.”
Steve Barto, EA&E’s Spokane Valley Facility Manager, initially called to find out about the department’s confined-space program and to confirm rescue protocol and contact information. His forward thinking led to a hands-on training opportunity that would benefit the fire department, EA&E and other local fuel facilities and small tank farms.
“I mentioned that we had a tank open, and they were welcome to use it for a drill if needed,” said Steve. “I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to build an ongoing relationship with our fire department and also aid them in ensuring they had adequate on-site experience to facilitate efficient confined-space rescues in the future.”
In addition to confined-space training sessions, the Spokane Valley Fire Department also took time to familiarize themselves with EAE’s Lockout Tagout procedures, and they look forward to additional training sessions to come.
EAE’s tanks are usually emptied for periodic tank floor inspections. There is an observation period prior to the tank being refilled with product in which walkthroughs, and now training, can be conducted.