Martins Ferry Times Leader. For the fourth year in a row, Belmont College welcomed local first responders to the Shale Safety Institute 2017, a partnership between Belmont College and Hess Corp.

More than 42 fire and EMS stations were represented at the event, which is designed to prepare local emergency agencies to respond in emergency situations, including incidents in the oilfields, in a safe and confident manner.

“Energy development in the Ohio Valley has presented many great opportunities, including a stronger local economy and incredible advancements and research. This development has also brought a heightened awareness regarding safety issues.” said Paul Gasparro, Belmont College president. “We are so grateful to Hess Corporation for their commitment to the local community and our first responders. Through the Shale Safety Institute, first responders and emergency service personnel are receiving the highly relevant training and education they need to be able to respond to oilfield related incidents and keep our communities safe.”

“We’re proud to say that this is our fourth year of our partnership with Belmont College to host Shale Safety Institute. We have a safety-first culture where our ultimate goal is zero incidents. First responders are critical to this community, and we hope this training provides them with some of the tools they would need to respond in the event of an oil and gas emergency,” said Jim Wilson, Utica Area Lead.

Training for multiple scenarios was available during the event, including: limited access rescue; an interactive simulation lab, where participants functioned as a team to access and manage patients in a variety of injuries; stop the bleed; and a course dedicated to extrication tools, which provided first responders the chance to have hands-on practice with a variety of extrication tools and techniques. A firefighting foam class, provided by Sunset Heights Fire Department, was also offered to train first responders in the use of types of foam, as well as the equipment and methods used to deploy it.

A half-day heavy lifting session, provided by Bill’s Towing, was available to orient first responders to the benefit and use of heavy wreckers/rotators in rescue operations involving large vehicles and machinery. Participants were familiarized with rotator operation in heavy lifting scenarios as well as cribbing, airbag operations, and alternative use of vehicle air systems to facilitate rescue operations.

“Training events, such as Shale Safety Institute, are highly relevant to our local first responders. It is important to have hands-on instruction to familiarize ourselves with the necessary equipment and guidelines in case of an emergency situation,” said Ailsa Vogelsang, Belmont College EMS/fire safety coordinator.

Belmont College offers ongoing fire and EMS training through the Workforce Development and Community Education Department; for more information, visit

Hess Corp. is a leading global independent energy company engaged in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas. More information on Hess Corporation is available at

Special thanks was extended to the following: Barton Fire Department, Bill’s Towing, Howell Rescue Systems/Genesis Rescue Systems, Medtronic, Ohio Valley Medical Center, Saw Sales & Machinery Co., Stat MedEvac, Sunset Heights Fire Department and Wetzel County EMS.

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