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OOGEEP’s award-winning training exceeds state and federal fire safety standards and was the first program of its kind developed in the nation. In more bonuses its 20th year, 19 firefighters were trained, bringing the total trained to more than 1,500 firefighters and first responders. The two-day training includes experience classroom presentations, virtual reality tabletop exercises and live outdoor fire behavior labs. Local firefighters who attended the training were Trevor Willoughby, Weathersfield Fire Department; Roger Bruce, Southington Fire Department; and Derek Hollander and Caleb Richmond, Brookfield Fire Department. “There is no better class around,” Richmond said. “(The class) is the most realistic class I have ever taken. I learned so much that I have never even thought of.” OOGEEP’s training was collaboratively developed by natural gas and oil industry experts, regulatory agencies, firefighters and emergency responders. The training teaches common practices, references and standards used by the fire service and the natural gas and oil industry. It is designed to provide insight into how natural gas and oil is explored, drilled, produced and transported, as well as the importance of establishing a unified command in the event of an unlikely emergency. “As an industry, safety always comes first and we’re focused on ensuring fire departments across Ohio have the tools, training and expertise to respond to any type of event, no matter how unlikely it may be,” said John Schlichter, OOGEEP executive director.