Knowing how to enter a burning building filled with smoke while battling a blaze requires continuous training to keep people safe. Pantex Fire Department’s recent training helped personnel stay familiar with their equipment and prepared for emergency situations they may not often see.
Bill Ho-Gland, Pantex Assistant Fire Chief, says the training helps support the site and the surrounding communities that may need Pantex assistance during an emergency. Pantex maintains Memorandums of Understanding with the counties surrounding the Pantex site and renders aid when requested.
Members of the Pantex Fire Department maintain certifications so they are ready to respond to any emergency that arises. This year’s training scenario involved an interior structure fire. The team had to bring the fire under control using effective water application practices, firefighting posture and attack techniques.
The Pantex Fire Department is certified through the Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP) and regularly trains to ensure it meets or exceeds TCFP continuing education requirements. During recent emergency training, members of the department refreshed their training in the use of self-contained breathing apparatus and other personal protective equipment.
Article by Jim Ray, Pantex Wildlife Biologist/Scientist
While relocating a bull snake that had decided to bask in the warm sunshine right on the back steps of one of our buildings, a Swainson’s hawk perched atop a power pole captured my attention. It was apparent that the beautiful raptor was sporting one of our GPS Platform Transmitter Terminal (PTT) backpacks, which allow us and our collaborators from West Texas A&M University and the U.S.G.S. Texas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Texas Tech University to gather data from the hawks on a year-round basis. The antennae stretching upward from the PTT was quite visible and, at that distance, I could even see the leg bands that all of our study birds wear.
Hours later, I arrived by commercial airline in Corpus Christi, where, over the next four days I had the privilege of interacting with fellow wildlife biologists at a conference focusing on birds-of-prey. The Raptor Research Foundation 2014 Conference was a well-run meeting and featured presentations on research from around the globe. Topics ranged from ecology, conservation and monitoring of species; to effects of wind energy development and electrical infrastructure on species; as well as evaluating techniques for the safe study of these magnificent creatures. It was a great opportunity for the world’s top researchers of birds-of-prey to share ideas and, in some cases, form new partnerships.
Pantex played a role in the conference in a couple of ways. First off, at our/Pantex’s recommendation, the U. S. Department of Energy (headquarters in Washington, DC) joined six other sponsors in providing financial support for the conference. This was well within the spirit of Executive Order 13186, Responsibilities of Federal Agencies to Protect Migratory Birds, which directs federal agencies to promote research, partnerships, and information exchange related to the conservation of migratory birds. How perfect of a fit was that? Those three goals were met through one action!
Besides sponsorship and participation in the conference (attendance and networking), Pantex and collaborators with the U.S.G.S. Texas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Texas Tech University presented a poster, “Movement rates of Swainson’s hawks migrating from Texas to Argentina.” Graduate student Laurie Groen did a great job with the preparation and presentation of that poster.
When I returned to work at Pantex the following Monday morning I looked online and I was excited to find that one of our PTT-marked Swainson’s hawks was making a southerly move. Its initial movement was southeast, which has been characteristic of many of our birds, and was currently in the Wichita Falls area. Soon, it will turn to the south, sail by Corpus Christi where the world’s raptor researchers had just gathered, and be off to Argentina.
It is truly great that Pantex has built a program based on partnerships, and consistently demonstrates a role in the conservation of migratory birds. Funding for the projects is provided by the U. S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration in cooperation with Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC.
Photo: A PTT-marked Swainson's hawk captured on camera north of Panhandle, TX. The inset map shows the typical migration route of Swainson's hawks from our area, once into the interior of Mexico, from the entire breeding range of the species. Photo courtesy of Mark Elliot.
Pantex is a longtime supporter of the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce event
More than a dozen Pantexans volunteered to help cook and serve some delicious barbecue Wednesday night at the annual Amarillo Chamber of Commerce Good Times Celebration and Barbecue Cookoff. For more than a decade, Pantex has been a prominent supporter of the event, which is the Chamber's largest fundraising event of the year.
Plant first DOE entity named Storm-Ready Nation Ambassador
National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Krissy Scotten, from left, presented the WRN Ambassador designation to Pantex Site Manager Michelle Reichert and Carson County Emergency Management Coordinator Brenda Vermillion at a Pantex ceremony Tuesday.
Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration named Pantex Plant a Weather-Ready Nation (WRN) Ambassador Tuesday. The WRN program is a new initiative to spread critical information to residents about how to prepare for and respond to a weather emergency. Ambassadors take the lead in helping unify efforts across government, non-profits, academia and private industry to make the nation more ready, responsive and resilient against severe weather.
Pantex joined Carson County this month as a WRN Ambassador, with plans for multiple events throughout September to spread the message about weather preparedness to Pantexans and county residents. Pantex is the first DOE entity named a WRN Ambassador, and Carson County is the first county in the Texas Panhandle to achieve the designation.
Clarence Rashada holds up a sign expressing Pantexan support during the United Way campaign kickoff event last week as Kendra Garcia, from left, Kathy Felder and Charles Thomas look on. The four are loaned executives from Pantex, sent to support the United Way campaign, which has a theme this year of “Make it Personal.”
Each year, Pantex employees pledge hundreds of thousands of dollars to United Way of Amarillo and Canyon, making the plant a top giver to the campaign.