Flint Hills hosts rescue training for county firefighters

Approximately 25 firefighters from Dakota County fire departments participated in a specialized rescue training session at Flint Hills Resources’ Pine Bend refinery on Saturday, May 20.

During the session, firefighters practiced rescue scenarios on large process units at the Pine Bend refinery. Specific drills included rescuing mannequins from ladder cages and other elevated areas, and practicing lowering techniques using technical ropes and stretchers.

This free training is part of a partnership between Flint Hills Resources and the Dakota County Special Operations Team.

“What a fantastic opportunity to be able to practice rescue techniques in a sophisticated environment like the Pine Bend refinery,” said Sam Seal, firefighter for the South Metro Fire Department and member of the Dakota County Special Operations Team. “Thanks to this training, Dakota County firefighters are now more prepared to perform rescues in elevated and challenging environments such as water towers and grain elevators.”

This first-of-its kind training session at Pine Bend builds on the refinery’s long tradition of providing mutual aid assistance to the area’s first responder community. Dakota County fire departments have been using the refinery’s fire training grounds for free since 1991.

“We are proud to live in a community that values preparedness, and we’re happy to do our part by lending our facility and expertise for our first responder neighbors,” said Ed Steele, fire chief at Flint Hills Resources.

Flint Hills Resources Pine Bend refinery produces transportation fuels used throughout the Midwest, including most of Minnesota’s gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, as well as other products people rely on such as propane and asphalt.

Pine Bend has a capacity of 339,000 barrels per day. Flint Hills Resources directly and indirectly supports more than 4,000 Minnesota jobs and has invested nearly $1.7 billion on upgrades and improvements to its Minnesota facilities since 2010.

With 1,300 full-time employees, the Flint Hills Resources Pine Bend refinery is one of the largest employers in Dakota County. More information about the company is available at http://pinebendrefinery.com.