WPX Makes The Minutes Count in Medical Emergencies - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

WPX Makes The Minutes Count in Medical Emergencies

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Working on an oil rig is no easy job.

Critical accidents require speedy responses, and when an injury occurs on an oil rig in a rural area help can take up to two hours to arrive.

WPX a Colorado based drilling company has been working with private companies to develop a plan that will cut down the time it takes for help to arrive. One that could save oil rig workers lives.

When a critical accident occurs, the minutes matter.

WPX employees are trained to make those minutes count, under the oil companies training plan which they tested at a rural rig site near Mandaree. Within moments the companies' first responders were on site.

"Within three minutes the first responders from right over the edge of the oil site that are stationed here 24/7 were at the side of the patient. And within five minutes the paramedics, that can give advance care, were at the side of the patient," says Jeffrey Sather of the Emergency Trauma Center.

The emergency response plan designed by Easton Health and Safety Solutions, places paramedics within minutes of WPX's five drilling rigs on the Fort Berthold Reservation.

"The more we drill the more it becomes not old hat, but going into it like a programmed mode of okay, 'I have to do this step, this step and this step,'" says Teresa Van Deusen a WPX safety specialist.

After lowering a patient, and waiting on an assessment from paramedics, the drilling crew is also trained to help guide a helicopter to a safe landing.

"We landed two helicopters, loaded two patients and unloaded them in the time it would take to get an ambulance from New Town to halfway here," says Dr. Kurt Papenfus of the National Institute for Occupational Safety.

"If this was a real incident there are some things that can happen to a person that if immediate care happens they are going to be fine. If care is delayed, they are going to die before help gets here," says Sather.

Doctors and medical professionals say the first hour after an accident is the most critical time.

"There are some things you can do right away that buys you time. And by having a stand by medic out here that can respond right away and put a tourniquet on them to make the bleeding stop right away. That person keeps more of their blood in them so they do better when they get to a trauma center," says Papenfus.

Both patients were cared for and transported within two helicopters, and WPX called the demonstration a success.

"This is going to more than pay for itself, and the effort that has gone into it," says Sather.

Aside from saving lives on the rigs, the pilot program can also respond to traffic accidents and emergencies on the rural roads of Mandaree.

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