*UPDATE* SMS Response – Deepwater Horizon Drilling Rig
It has always been the belief of SMS that our employees are our greatest assets. That has never been more evident than in our response following the April 20th blowout of Transocean's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico.
Shortly after the initial explosion, our emergency response system began at the One Gulf Emergency Call Center with Nic Michel and SMS's Matt Savoy organizing rescue efforts with the USCG, Transocean, and BP. Rescue efforts began with an immediate response by AirMed crews. Paramedics Marc Creswell and Raymond Mouton and pilots Dale Ducote and Seth Gardner participated in the swift rescue and transport of two workers to West Jefferson Medical Center in New Orleans. Also responding was Jerod Meaux aboard a VIH Cougar airship.
Three of Safety Management Systems' own paramedics, Seth Mayeaux, Troy Bernard, and Mike Jones, who were onboard neighboring BP platforms, were instrumental in triage and support of responding aircraft.
AirMed and Acadian Ambulance also played a major role in the treatment and transport of 14 other survivors that were evacuated to Belle Chasse Naval Air Station by the USCG. Nearly one hundred workers onboard the Deepwater Horizon that escaped via lifeboats were eventually picked up by a vessel contracted by BP, and once again our team was there.
After a brief rendezvous at BP Na Kika, paramedics Benji Talbot and Jared Kimball joined the evacuated workers for the 30-hour trip to Fourchon. They performed medical evaluations and provided much needed moral support.
In all, 11 men remain missing and are presumed dead. One hundred fifteen of the 126-man crew onboard the Deepwater Horizon were recovered. All 17 that were hospitalized have already been released in large part due to SMS's quick and comprehensive response.
The immediate danger may have passed, but Safety Management Systems continues to play an active role in recovery from this tragedy. As a result of the blowout, millions of barrels of crude oil have been released into the Gulf of Mexico and are threatening the coastline. In support of Oil Mop's cleanup efforts, we have established a Mobile Medical Command Center in Fourchon headed by Bob Black. A second Mobile Medical Command Center contracted by US Environmental has been established in Pascagoula, MS with Acadian Ambulance support. They have also contracted SMS paramedics Tony Mooney and Gerald Chauvin on a pair of cleanup vessels based out of Venice, La.
We would like to take a moment to thank all who have been and will continue to be involved. We would especially like to thank Acadian Ambulance VP of Operations, Steve Kuiper and his team for their continued efforts in coordinating an organized Acadian response.
As we wait to see the lasting effects this spill will have on the Gulf coast, SMS stands ready to provide the solutions necessary to ensure the safety of all involved. We will continue to be committed to the well being of Louisiana and the entire Gulf coast. Safety Management Systems is confident that we have the resources to conquer this tragedy, and the most valuable of those resources are our employees.