Rescue robot among new tools helping save lives in Minnesota

Community News

St. Paul Park, Minnesota, foundation
  • Two grants from Marathon Petroleum’s refinery in St. Paul Park, Minnesota, are helping to improve public safety.
  • The Cottage Grove police and fire departments are using the funds to update their search-and-rescue operations and their inter-agency emergency communications.
  • The onsite refinery fire department in St. Paul Park works and sometimes trains with local first responding agencies to further enhance public safety.

Two recent grants from Marathon Petroleum’s St. Paul Park refinery were used to help first responders make a lifesaving difference in the community of Cottage Grove, Minnesota. Earlier this year, representatives from Marathon Petroleum presented both the community’s police and fire departments with a public safety grant for equipment upgrades and a rescue robot that is designed specifically to help in search-and-rescue operations. Robots, which have become both a popular and critical tool for public safety agencies across the country, minimize human injury and death for both the first responders and victims in times of emergency.

“Rather than forcing entry into a building or home, not knowing what the conditions are like inside, a rescue robot can quickly and safely assess the situation first,” said Peter Koerner, Director of Public Safety/Police Chief, City of Cottage Grove – Department of Public Safety. “It can provide critical information about potential hazards in real-time to crews outside, which can mean everything to our first responders.”

Members of the Cottage Grove Public Safety Department displays the tools the agency purchased using grant dollars from the St. Paul Park refinery.

Another grant is helping upgrade the technology inside the city’s multi-agency command center, enabling interagency exchange of information during a major event.

“We work closely with the public safety teams in Cottage Grove, as we do with many of the surrounding first-responding agencies – all of whom put their lives on the line each time they answer the call,” said Chief John Wright of the St. Paul Park Refinery Fire Department. “These equipment upgrades will further enhance public safety for all of us, while making it easier for first responders to communicate with each other during emergencies.”

An officer demonstrates how the rescue robot works using the handheld controller that features a video screen.
Equipment Marathon Petroleum’s grants helped purchase displayed at the Cottage Grove Public Safety Department.