Gas well emergency training to prepare first responders

Written by The Associated Press | Sep 14, 2015 12:31 AM

FILE PHOTO: Workers talk as they block the road to a natural gas well that had gotten out of control the day before in Pennfield, Pa., Friday, June 4, 2010. The gas never caught fire and no injuries were reported, but state officials worried about an explosion before the well could be controlled. The well was brought under control just after noon Friday, about 16 hours after it started spewing gas and brine, said Elizabeth Ivers, a spokeswoman for driller EOG Resources Inc.(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

(Chartiers) -- A new half-million-dollar training center in western Pennsylvania will help prepare first responders in several states for emergencies at natural gas well sites and production facilities. 

State Fire commissioner Tim Solobay says the facility at Washington County Fire Academy is unmatched anywhere "outside of Texas.'' 

The industry-specific site is expected to host at least one monthly training session with regional professionals and emergency departments starting next month. 

Crews from Greene County, West Virginia and Ohio were on hand over the weekend for look at the training.

Washington County Public Safety Director Jeff Yates said the mock structures will also allow rescue operations to be replicated.  

Solobay said he industry "stepped up and paid for nearly everything.''  

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