MPL investment helps Oregon fire department keep community safe

Community News

MPL, foundation, Oregon
Boise Area Manager Ross Simons presents checks to Ontario Fire & Rescue Department Chief Clint Benson totaling $7,000 for the Ontario Fire & Rescue and the Ontario Rural Fire Protection District.
  • The Ontario Fire & Rescue (OFR) in Oregon used a grant from Marathon Pipe Line (MPL) to purchase a new ground monitor for the department.
  • OFR and MPL developed a strong partnership founded on a shared goal to ensure the safety of the community.
  • A week after the donation, the new equipment was used by first responders to put out a truck fire in the community.

Ontario Fire & Rescue (OFR) in Oregon, near the Idaho border, purchased a new ground monitor with a $7,000 grant from Marathon Pipe Line (MPL), a subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum’s midstream segment, MPLX. MPL delivered the grant to Chief Clint Benson at the 2023 Northwest Products System Oil Spill Tabletop Exercise.

A week later, a third-party truck transporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) caught fire during the fuel loading process at a nearby facility not connected to Marathon Petroleum. OFR crews responded and worked quickly to extinguish the fire. The new ground monitor, which is used when a large amount of water is necessary to extinguish a fire, was deployed to douse the transport truck and cool down the tank. Ground monitors can direct more water at a fire than hoses held by firefighters. After about 15 minutes, the crew successfully extinguished the fire and stopped the flow of LNG.

Emergency crew's dash camera captured an image of the truck on fire.

“The grant we received from MPL for the ground monitor was instrumental in fighting this fire,” said OFR Chief Clint Benson. “I cannot thank you all enough for this generous grant. It made a huge difference for our firefighters and community the first day it was put in service.”

MPL strives to engage and support the communities where it operates in various ways. Over the past few years, the MPL Boise Area team and OFR have developed a strong partnership with a shared goal to ensure the safety of the community of Ontario, Oregon. This community is situated along the Northwest Products System pipeline, which crosses the Snake River. The OFR has collaborated with Marathon Petroleum’s Emergency Preparedness Group to identify and mitigate risks along this waterway. To further demonstrate their commitment, the OFR assisted in multiple boom deployments for Marathon Petroleum’s tabletop exercises and participated in spill response exercises.

Emergency crews use the ground monitor (right of the truck), acquired through the grant from MPL, to extinguish the flames.

“We don’t often get to see the direct impact of our outreach efforts,” said Ross Simons, MPL Boise Area Manager. “It’s rewarding to see our donation being used to provide life-saving equipment to de-escalate an emergency. It’s also really humbling to see our efforts in action and makes me proud to work for a company that values community investment.”