North Dakota company seeks to improve emergency responses for oil field accidents

Given the remote areas in which oil and gas industry activity takes place across the U.S., when there's an oil field accident, it can often take hours for emergency responders to arrive on the scene and even longer to get injured workers to the hospital. According to a report from the Associated Press, Troy Easton, of North Dakota, is seeking to change that.

Six years ago, Easton made a career change from flight paramedic to drill rig operator. He did it for the money. But after his own medical emergency resulted in an hour-long drive to the hospital, he was inspired to begin Easton Health & Safety. The company uses on-site paramedics and helicopters to reach the remote areas where oil fields are located. By doing so, less time is spent waiting for emergency response and more lives are saved, the article stated. The company has responded to more than three dozen calls since March.

North Dakota is the second largest oil producer in the country, and the state with the most worker deaths. According to figures provided by AFL-CIO, the 104 deaths per 100,000 oil workers in the state in 2012 is more than six times the national average.

NIOSH oil and gas extraction council member, Dr. Kurt Papenfus, stated that on-site paramedics are a common thing for offshore rigs and those onshore in extraordinarily remote places like Alaska's North Slope. However, they're not common at all for oil fields in the continental U.S. But they should be more prevalent, he said.

Many oil field accidents are preventable and are due to recklessness on the job site or the failure of employers to properly train their workers or to provide adequate equipment. Once injured, oil field workers often are left struggling to pay for their expenses. If you've been injured in an oil field accident, we can help you to get the workers' compensation benefits and other compensation you deserve. For more information, contact us.