27 April, 2006
The Right Honourable The Lord Cullen of Whitekirk was in Aberdeen today to officially unveil the first integrated Emergency Response Service Centre (ERSC) in the UKCS.
The Lord Cullen of Whitekirk was invited by Rubicon Response, a division of Petrofac Training, to open the ERSC given his well documented and respected background within the oil & gas industry. His report into the Piper Alpha disaster led to a reconstruction of the regulatory regime of the industry, alongside the adoption of modern principles of risk assessment and management.
Leading emergency response and crisis management provider, Rubicon Response developed the centre which is strategically located at Marine House, Blaikies Quay, in close proximity to the emergency services and is the first point of contact for a number of North Sea installations, providing them with an immediate and effective response in emergency situations.
The design of the ERSC is based on the need to work effectively with the emergency services, resilience, the use of best practice, and regulatory expectations. A key criterion is the need for duty holders to remain responsible, and the team arrangements and lines of communication allow this to happen at every level of the response. Various types of service are available to customers, ranging from call out and mobilisation services, to relative and media response functions, through to the provision of a fully supported incident management team.
Jim Walker, managing director of Rubicon Response said: “We live in times where the element of risk is increasingly prevalent. It has never been more important to understand the significance of emergency preparation and to take steps to ensure that effective response arrangements are in place. It is crucial that the oil & gas industry, more so than most industries, has a clear and tested strategy, so that any incident offshore or indeed onshore can be managed as effectively and safely as possible. Having gone live on 6 March 2006, the ERSC is at a constant state of readiness and is already providing valuable service to customers and improving safety in the North Sea.
“We hope that the ERSC will become a blueprint for the future of emergency response management in key oil & gas provinces across the globe,” continued Mr Walker. “It is an outstanding facility, incorporating state of the art and robust technology, supported by a fully qualified, highly experienced and dedicated team of responders.”
Lord Cullen said: “The speed and competence of response, based on a sound state of preparedness, are critical factors in the successful management of an emergency offshore. I am delighted to welcome the initiative of Rubicon Response in providing the ERSC as a modern method of collaborating with the duty holder to achieve that success".
Ayman Asfari, group chief executive of Petrofac, was also in attendance at today’s opening ceremony.