Riding High

Growing in step with drilling and refining activity along the Gulf Coast, the 3rd Annual Industrial Fire, Safety & Security conference is in Houston again this month.

TradeFair Group Inc.'s Industrial Fire, Safety & Security conference is growing rapidly, in terms of attendance and exhibitors, and the 2008 edition (Feb. 6-8) offers a strong seminar lineup at Houston's Reliant Center. It has become a leading conference for Gulf Coast petrochemical emergency officials and vendors serving the energy sector.

"It's doing very well. We're in our third year. It has grown tremendously in the last two years," said Sara Lowery, industrial fire and security account manager for TradeFair Group. The show's growth has been aided by the boom in oil and gas drilling spurred by high energy prices, she said.

Lowery, who is handling exhibitors for IFSS this year, said the conference's expo has a strong lineup of fire service companies from the Gulf Coast region but also from elsewhere--Canada and New York in particular. "They've decided there's only so much they can do in municipal and petrochemical, and they're branching out into industrial [fire service] now," she added.

TEEX, the Texas Engineering Extension Service, is the show's chief sponsor.

William B. Wark, a member of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, is scheduled to deliver the event's keynote address at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 6. He may discuss the board's findings about the BP Texas City, Texas, refinery explosion in 2005 and also the board's resources and recommendations for preventing uncontrolled chemical reactions.

Seminar and Expo Highlights
Conference seminars are grouped in four tracks: Emergency Response and Preparedness; Safety; Security; and Medical/EMS. A full schedule is available on the show's Web site, with these seminars among the highlights:

• Seminar 1A, Comprehensive emergency response and preparedness, 1-2:30 p.m. Feb. 6. Speaker: Brad Byczynski, CSP, CFPS, director of crisis management at BP's Naperville Crisis Center in Illinois

• Seminar 2A, Self-contained breathing apparatus present and future, 1-2:30 p.m. Feb. 6. Chair: Steve Barnett, Bullard regional sales manager

• Seminar 1B, Emergency management and response: interorganization approach, 2:45-4 p.m. Feb. 6. Speakers: Tim O'Brien, regional management, hazardous materials for Union Pacific Railroad and Lee Ray Kaderli, ExxonMobil

• Seminar 3B, Physical security & access control, 2:45-4 p.m. Feb. 6. Speakers: Benjamin Butchko, CPP, Butchko Security Solutions president and CEO; Walter Hansen, Sceptre Security

• Seminar 2C, Understanding API 753, 8-9:45 a.m. Feb. 7. Chair: Brian Sossaman, emergency response & security manager, Lyondell; Speaker: William Walker, Lyondell Chemical Company health and safety manager

• Seminar 3D, Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standard update, 9:45-11:15 a.m. Feb. 7. Chair: Rick Deel, fire chief and facilities protection superintendent, Lubrizol Corp.; Speaker: Steve Roberts, attorney

• Seminar 1F, Meeting the challenges for emerging hazards, 8-9:30 a.m. Feb. 8. Chair: Capt. Joe Rosales, Refinery Terminal Fire Company

• Seminar 2F, Understanding fall protection regulations, 8-9:30 a.m. Feb. 8. Moderator: John Voinche, VP, Roco Rescue; Speaker: Jim Hutter, Capital Safety

IFSS 2008 exhibitors listed on the Web site include Bullard, BullEx Digital Safety, Bulwark Protective Apparel, BW Technologies, Cardiac Science Corp., Carhartt, Columbia Southern University, DuPont, E-One, FMC Corp., Hagemeyer Technical Services, KeepSafe Inc., Kermel, Kidde Fire Fighting, the National Safety Council, Nextteq, Notifier, OK-1 Manufacturing, Occupational Health Dynamics, Pelican, Roco Rescue, Total Safety USA, Westex Inc., Workrite Uniform Co., 3M, and a handful of major Gulf Coast refineries.

Expo hours are 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7; and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8. Expo events include an opening reception taking place throughout Wednesday's expo hours, expo hall lunches Thursday and Friday, and a closing reception from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday.

Reliant Center is part of Reliant Park, a multi-use convention, sports, and entertainment district that includes the landmark Reliant Astrodome. Reliant Center, located immediately north of the Astrodome, contains some 706,000 square feet of contiguous, single-level exhibit space. The 2008 IFSS expo is occupying Hall E; a floor plan of the expo is available at the IFSS Web site.

The conference's educational schedule includes six paid training workshops Feb. 5-6 on confined space compliance, 8-Hour OSHA train-the-trainer instruction, facility safety and security management, high-angle and confined space rescue, preparedness for manmade disasters and emergencies, and alternative fuels safety and awareness.
For information about TradeFair Group, visit their Web site.

This article originally appeared in the February 2008 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

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