In Mediterranean Offshore Bunkering Co Ltd (MOBC) plant in Marsa where ship fuel storage tanks are kept, a number of emergency situations and scenarios were simulated by the Department of Civil Protection. This was done both for company employees and for firemen to be well prepared in the event of an accident which, if it occurs, would cause a major disaster.
The simulation exercise in the MOBC plant offers practical training and a precise plan of what needs to be done both by company employees as well as Department of Civil Protection workers.
Director of the Department of Civil Protection, Emanuel Psaila, said the plant is one of the 10 places in Malta which stores a large amount of fuel. He said that according to a European Union directive, these locations must carry out a simulation exercise every two years.
“To see that the fire system inside the plant is working as it should be, and that we, as Civil Protection, are equipped to deal with any eventuality at any plant,” said Mr Psaila.
As part of the exercise, as soon as the alarm went off, workers at the plant evacuated, except those trained to extinguish the fire, and shortly after firemen from the Department of Civil Protection arrived. The officer in charge of this operation, Anthony Pisani, wanted to ensure that there was no fire dispersion to the fuel tanks, while ensuring also that anyone losing consciousness would also be evacuated.
“After our people enter to remove people from inside and then go back in to close the valve, we go in again to put out the fire completely with a special vehicle/equipment that sprays foam ” explained Mr. Pisani.
Training for a number of scenarios was carried out during an exercise that took about two hours, and coordination with other entities including medical teams was carried out, to avoid danger that can arise in such situations.
40 recruits from the Department of Civil Protection took part in the training, which was their first experience on a similar site.