Oil & Gas Emergencies. Why have a Mutual Aid Agreement?

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Oil. That three letter word invites a flood of ethical and environmental debates. Behind all these conversations, the oil industry is working in the background to ensure the safety of its facilities, workers and the planet. Mutual aid is an agreement among emergency services to lend assistance across organizations.

This may occur when emergency response efforts exceed the capability of local resources, such as a disaster or a multiple-alarm fire. Mutual aid may be ad hoc, requested only when such an emergency occurs. It may also be a formal standing agreement for cooperative emergency management on a continuing basis, such as ensuring that resources are dispatched from the nearest fire station, regardless of where the incident occurs.

Environmental incidents, such as an oil well fire or chemical spill, can cause major headaches for companies. The fallout can be wide-reaching, with pollutants quickly spreading to affect waters, buildings and other amenities. So there are a number of reasons why mutual aid improves emergency response:

  • Enhances response capability and safety of communities.
  • Creates an effective and consistently understood response system.
  • Encourages the transfer of best practices and continuous improvement .
  • Standardizes procedures and spreads awareness of everyone's operational plan.
  • Ensures growth of collaboration and Interoperability.
  • Sharing of resources including physical resources, technical and knowledge bases.
  • Grows an approach of "We are all impacted". Emergencies don't recognize boundaries.
  • Removes the difficulty of pooling all the resources without an already developed alliance/relationship.
  • Eliminate lots of confusion with one notification system.
  • Improves public confidence in the industry.

Given these realities, it is important that companies have plans in place in the event that things go wrong at the operational level. Emergency preparedness and response planning is an essential management tool that enables companies to prepare for and quickly respond to accidents when they take place in order to minimize social, environmental, and financial impacts.

We're always interested in anything that helps in improving your response capabilities. Being able to work collaboratively is one of the reasons [D4H]™ Technologies was created.

Robert Charles

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