From Houston Fire Department
LyondellBasell, one of the world's largest plastics, chemical and refining companies, announced a donation of $100,000 to fund specialized emergency training for six Houston-area fire departments that serve key industrial corridors.
The donation will underwrite hazardous materials (HazMat) training scholarships for fire departments in Houston, Channelview, Pasadena, La Porte, Sheldon and Mont Belvieu. Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), an internationally-recognized leader in emergency response training and firefighting, will administer the training to the fire departments.
“We recognize the budgetary challenges fire departments in Houston and smaller outlying communities face in obtaining this unique type of training. It is our privilege to help ensure they are more effectively prepared to support our industrial areas,” said Bob Patel, LyondellBasell CEO and chairman of the management board. "This donation will have a direct impact on saving lives and protecting our communities.”
Houston and the surrounding area are home to many industrial facilities that handle a variety of materials and products. The TEEX courses will teach firefighters how to handle incidents where specialized response tactics are required.
According to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, this is an essential resource that will help prepare fire departments in this area for all types of emergencies.
“This donation will go a long way toward better equipping our firefighters with the expertise they need when responding to industrial related emergencies,” said Turner. “Lyondell is such a wonderful community partner. They never hesitate to step forward to help out. I want to thank them for their generosity.”
The LyondellBasell donation will provide for more than 1,200 hours of instruction in TEEX’s HazMat training program. Fire departments will have the option of attending classes either at the Brayton Fire Training Field in College Station, Texas, or onsite at their fire stations using TEEX’s mobile training units.
“This generous donation by LyondellBasell will help enhance the region's operational and hazardous materials response readiness. With Houston being the ‘energy capital of the world,’ it is important that we stay up to date with the dynamic arena that is hazardous materials,” said Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña. “I would like to thank Mayor Turner and Bob Patel for their leadership and commitment to the Houston Fire Department.”
The donation of HazMat training is LyondellBasell’s most recent effort to partner with and support local first responders. The company regularly coordinates with fire departments and other mutual aid groups to cross train at its facilities in order to increase overall response effectiveness. Additionally, in 2015, LyondellBasell donated $75,000 for the purchase of new tactical vests for the Houston Police Department and three rescue boats for the Houston Fire Department.