MIDLAND, Texas (Dec. 5, 2019) – The Permian Road Safety Coalition (PRSC), Noble Energy and SWEPI LP (Shell) together contributed $400,000 to purchase lifesaving emergency response equipment and training for rural first responders in the Permian Basin region of West Texas.
As the oil and gas industry’s activities have increased throughout the Delaware Basin (a geologic formation that is being developed by industry within the Permian Basin region), there has been a strain on local emergency services and the infrastructure of first responders throughout the region.
First responding agencies, many of whom are staffed by volunteers, have limited infrastructure and resources designed to support small populations of less than 10,000. Today, responders sometimes travel over an hour by road to respond to calls for assistance. Increased call volumes coupled with longer response times, has the potential to delay delivery of emergency services, including the delivery of critical emergency response tools to the scenes of accidents and emergencies. Through this contribution, emergency equipment, such as hydraulic rescue tools (jaws of life), medical supply kits and rescue helicopter landing zone kits, and related training will be provided to “first on scene” responders and or prepositioned closer to remote areas.
“Noble Energy is proud to work in West Texas and we salute the daily heroic efforts of our first responders throughout the Basin,” said David Burger, vice president Texas operations for Noble Energy and a member of the PRSC board of directors and treasurer. “We are pleased to provide equipment and training to our first responders but more importantly to let them know that we support the lifesaving work that they do.”
For the past two years, almost 100 Delaware Basin emergency first responders have been working with the oil and gas industry to identify gaps in service areas, equipment and training as well as to better understand industry activities and growth plans. This work has led to a set of recommendations called the Delaware Basin Emergency Prepared Initiative (DBEPI), which includes recommendations for fire services, emergency medical services, law enforcement and 9-11 communications and infrastructure.
This $400,000 donation is in direct response to the DBEPI recommendations. In 2019, the Permian Road Safety Coalition became the lead non-profit agency to raise funding for the DBEPI initiative and to help coordinate the distribution of equipment based on the DBEPI recommendations.
Scott Scheffler, executive director of the PRSC, said, “The DBEPI recommendations place critical emergency response equipment and training in the hands of first responders that will, in turn, have the potential to save lives in rural areas of the Permian Basin.” “This donation, while significant, only scratches the surface of the needs of first responders that service more than 20 rural counties throughout the Permian Basin in Texas and Southeast New Mexico, many of which are rural locations far from the city centers and emergency response infrastructure.”
“Shell is honored to be part of the DBEPI, which helps make the Delaware Basin a safer place to live and work,” said Amir Gerges, vice president Permian for Shell and a member of the PRSC board of directors. “We heard the community’s concerns around road safety and worked through DBEPI to build emergency responders’ capacity and through the PRSC to improve driving behaviors and road infrastructure in the Delaware Basin. We thank all of the first responders and local government officials for their daily contributions to the basin.”
The PRSC will continue to work with first responders and local government leaders throughout the basin in 2020 to raise additional funding to help provide the tools and training needed in the rural working areas of the Permian Basin.
The Permian Road Safety Coalition (PRSC) is based in Midland, Texas and leads a collaborative effort with oil and natural gas operators, oil field service and transportation companies, non-governmental and governmental organizations to improve road safety and reduce the number of traffic-related injuries and deaths in the Permian Basin. Learn more at https://www.permianroadsafety.org.
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