CHS McPherson refinery leads in fire safety training
Fire brigade members Seth Case, left, Nathan Prather, center, and Matt Ptaszynski work together to put out a self-propelled fire and close a valve during a fire training exercise that emulates a potential emergency event at the CHS refinery at McPherson, Kan.
Open a U.S. map, close your eyes and try to put your finger on the central heartbeat of this country — chances are good that you will be pointing to the 16,000-person town of McPherson, Kan.
At the CHS refinery on the outskirts of this charming central Kansas metropolis, the main goal across the 500-person workforce is to keep the plant running at optimal capacity 365 days a year. That goal is not achieved year after year at the refinery, which is one of the primary employers in this tight-knit community, without constant safety training.
Every Wednesday, the refinery's fire brigade — more than 20 members strong — gathers at state-of-the-art training grounds next door. Rope rescue, live fire, chemical release and medical response are some of the skills built into the unique training program designed to protect this critical facility. Many of the fire brigade members mention the camaraderie they share, knowing they are trained to protect each other’s lives, their business and their community.
Check out the full Winter 2022 issue of C magazine with this article and more.