Fire Simulation at Pin Oak Terminals Helps Prepare for Real Incident

Pin Oak

Pin Oak Terminals held a mock fire drill Wednesday to be ready in case of an emergency at the port.

The simulation consisted of a vessel leaving a dock and a fire occurring. After the vessel left, a pump seal blew out, leaking oil into the containment pad which started a combustion.

Corey Leonard, CEO of Pin Oak Terminals, said the purpose of any drill is to take every precautionary step that one can.

"[We] run through simulations of any incident that can occur to make sure your industry is in best practices to protect life, first and foremost," Leonard said. "Then to protect any of the environmental impacts around the infrastructure that we have responsibilities for."

According to Sean Strawbridge, CEO of the Port of Corpus Christi, there hasn't been a fire at a facility in the five years he's been with the port.

Strawbridge said each facility does drills and exercises regularly; at least every other year.

"Drills and exercises are about preparedness," Strawbridge said. "The more you're prepared, the higher your resiliency. Preparedness is before the incident, resiliency is during and recovery is after."

Strawbridge said public safety is biggest operational expense and the number one priority.

"In order to ensure that we are ensuring the health and safety of workers at the Port of Corpus Christi, we've got to make sure we're doing drills and exercises to test the overall public safety apparatus," Strawbridge said.

Communications typically is the biggest single-point failure with events like these, Strawbridge said.

"You want to make sure you have constant communications with the facility operators, the first responders and pretty much anyone that can play a roll in ensuring the safety of the facility and the people that work there," Strawbridge said.

​Leonard said he hopes to identify any gaps in the simulation.

"These events really put pressure on communication and urgency," Leonard said. "We're hoping to make sure if there are any gaps or missteps that have taken place today, we have the right people involved."