Landmark agreement will help protect major industrial sites
A landmark agreement will see the biggest industrial sites in the County working with Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and other emergency services to share resources in the event of a major incident.
The mutual aid agreement is the first of its kind in the country and is now being emulated by sites and services throughout the world.
The agreement will ensure that if a major fire, like the huge Buncefield Oil refinery blaze of 2005, breaks out in Essex resources are available in the County.
Under the formal agreement eight COMAH (control of major accident hazards) sites, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, Essex Police and Essex emergency planning will share resources and equipment.
Companies taking part in the agreement are: Calor Gas, Canvey Island; Carless Refinery, Harwich; Esso, Purfleet; Nustar, Grays; OIKOS, Canvey Island; Shell, Stanford le-hope; Thames Oil Port, Coryton; Vopack, West Thurrock.
Divisional Officer Mark Samuels, ECFRS Petrochemical expert, said: “This agreement has been two years in the making. It creates greater resilience for all of the sites involved.
“There has long been a gentlemen’s agreement to share resources and this agreement formalises that arrangement providing everyone involved with the formal reassurance that in the event of a major incident resources will be available.
“When a major industrial fire breaks out, our crews need access to as much foam as possible as soon as possible and this agreement gives us access to more than 100,000 litres of foam immediately.
“All of the companies involved are demonstrating their forward thinking and generosity will benefit everyone in Essex. This agreement makes the County more resilient and more prepared should the worst happen.”