Robinson refinery helps students with valuable safety training

Community News

Instructor showing kid how to use a fire extiguisher

In an effort to impact the safety of the community, Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s (MPC’s) refinery in Robinson, Illinois, and local fire department partner with Nuttall Middle School to provide safety training to local students. J.D. Branson, Robinson refinery fire chief, speaks to the students about workplace safety and home fire safety. Local firefighters also discuss the history of industrial fires and how it has impacted workplace rules and firefighting throughout the years.

To educate the eighth grade students about home and workplace safety, the history of workplace safety is discussed and the importance of a home safety plan is encouraged. As part of this training, students create a blueprint of their home and fire fighters meet with students individually to discuss fire routes and placement of smoke detectors. The fire fighters also take the entire eighth grade class outside so that they can practice putting out fires with extinguishers. “It is an amazing thing to watch,” said Diana Thompson, Nuttall Middle School teacher. “We have found the practice truly makes all the difference.”

MPC donates a smoke detector and a fire extinguisher to each of the students. “There are many families in the community who don’t have fire safety protection in the home,” said Environmental, Safety and Security Manager Von Meeks. “Providing the eighth grade students with a smoke detector and fire extinguisher assures our community is better protected.”

According to Thompson, one of the eighth grade students who participated in the training this school year put his training to the test. His mother and sister were cooking a dessert when the oven caught fire. The smoke detector went off, the house filled with smoke and the mother and sister panicked. The eighth grader ran in and told them that he knew what to do. He grabbed the fire extinguisher provided by MPC, pulled the pin, aimed, squeezed and swept – just as he was taught.

“We are so proud of our student and thankful he and his family are safe. The family is so thankful to MPC, the Robinson fire department and the school because we gave this student the education and the tools to put out a fire safely. Our student is a true hero,” said Thompson.