Detroit, Michigan,
03:52 PM

Joining forces for safe communities

I’ve been around the fire service profession going on 34 years, and I’ve never before seen a commitment by local industry like this.
Green Bay Metro Fire Chief David Litton

When a tanker truck full of gasoline and diesel crashed and caught fire on Interstate Highway 94 near Detroit, local firefighters requested help from Marathon Petroleum Corporation's (MPC’s) Detroit refinery. The refinery’s firefighters have the expertise and the specialized equipment to control hydrocarbon fires, and they were happy to lend a hand.

“When it comes to guarding against threats to public safety, there is no fence between company and community,” said Dave Whikehart, MPC’s vice president of Environment, Safety and Corporate Affairs. “When we join forces, everyone benefits.”

That’s why, at any given moment, MPC refineries, terminals and other locations are working with local firefighters, law enforcement and emergency management agencies to help strengthen their ability to protect the communities that rely on them.

Sometimes that means lending a hand, like during the fire in Detroit, and many similar mutual-aid requests MPC firefighters respond to. Other times, it means providing critical training and equipment to law enforcement, firefighters and other emergency responders.

In 2015 alone, MPC provided rescue equipment, mobile data computers, radios, personal protective equipment, gas monitors, body cameras and specialized training to various emergency responders. The police departments, fire departments and others benefiting from the equipment and training were from communities throughout MPC’s operating areas. Charlotte, North Carolina; Knoxville, Tennessee; Kuttawa, Kentucky; Lansing, Michigan; and St. Elmo, Illinois, are just a few of the dozens of communities that benefited from MPC’s commitment to help.

One of the largest single contributions was at MPC’s Green Bay, Wisconsin, terminal, where we and two other industry partners agreed last year to pay $225,000 toward the cost of a state-of-the-art emergency response boat. The Green Bay Fire Department paid $90,000 toward the cost of the vessel, and retains use of it for the public’s benefit.

“I’ve been around the fire service profession going on 34 years, and I’ve never before seen a commitment by local industry like this,” said Green Bay Metro Fire Chief David Litton.