September 2018, Vol. 245, No. 9

Tech Notes

Fluor Federal Petroleum Streamlines Emergency Response Technology

A recent survey on workplace safety revealed that while employees generally feel safe at work, they aren’t prepared for a potential workplace emergency. It’s crucial for oil and gas industry organizations to have the appropriate technology in place to help employees feel prepared for an emergency response.

Fluor Federal Petroleum, the operations and maintenance contractor providing services to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) project, needed to find a way to streamline communications and save time when communicating with their employees, particularly in the event of a workplace emergency.


The SPR contains the largest emergency supply of crude oil in the world and is stored in underground salt domes located at four sites along the Gulf Coast: two in Louisiana and two in Texas. For incident management and day-to-day operations, Fluor had historically used WebEOC, a web-based information management system that provides a single access point for the collection and dissemination of emergency or event-related information.

Recognizing the need to automate and improve paper-based control room operations, Gary Simon, senior emergency response team specialist, led the effort to upgrade WebEOC and integrate emergency notification and mapping.

As a subset of the overall task, Fluor wanted to send emergency notifications through WebEOC. The company’s existing emergency notification system (ENS) was not integrated with WebEOC, requiring multiple steps and manual data entry to send an alert.

In addition to day-to-day functions of operation and management of the U.S. Strategic Oil Reserve, the EOC needed to communicate emergency information rapidly and have a separate emergency notification system from WebEOC. To send an emergency notification, operators needed to log out of WebEOC, log into the ENS system, send the alert, reverse the process and manually enter details about the alert into WebEOC, which was wasting time when every moment is critical.

Additionally, data was stored in a non-searchable file with limited data. Only through a manual and time-consuming process could management access alert information and history.


To save time in an emergency, Fluor implemented the Rave Alert Extension for WebEOC, which provides the organization with a seamless integration between WebEOC and Rave Alert. The Rave Alert integration streamlines procedures, reduces the complexity of sending an alert, and automatically collects searchable historical data. By extending WebEOC capabilities through this unique product integration, Fluor is now able to send multimodal broadcast alerts from within WebEOC.

Control room operators can now send alerts from within WebEOC, and alert information is automatically available to operators and management through Environmental System Research Institute (ESRI) mapping. WebEOC also automatically records all information once an alert is sent, which eliminates manual data entry and ultimately reduces human error. 

As the number of emergency incidents in the workplace continues to increase, it’s crucial for organizations to evaluate their emergency response technology to determine if improvements can be made. In certain circumstances, having the right system can be the difference between life and death. P&GJ

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