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Eagle Ford Shale Town Looks for First Responders

by P. Brian Berryman on 02/17/2013

The Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas expansion has meant boom time for several small towns in rural Southeast Texas.  However, in at least one town, Eagle Ford Shale attorneys find that the boom is proving to be a major headache. 

The increased traffic has translated into an increased number of accidents in the little town of Pawnee, which has a grand total population of 300.  The town simply does not have the number of emergency medical personnel required to treat people injured in these accidents.

Currently, the Pawnee Fire Department is run by a team of volunteers, but it's not easy to get volunteers to stay offering their services for free in this town.  The Fire Department currently has a staff strength of 10 people, who work rotating shifts.  However, these are people who already have other full-time jobs, and therefore, it isn’t possible for them to respond every time there is an accident that needs emergency response.

The town sees a lot of accidents related to the Eagle Ford Shale traffic, because of Texas Highway 72 which goes right through the town.  The town simply does not have the emergency medical resources to deal with these incidents.  Much of the traffic that moves through this little town consists of oil and gas trucks.  Essentially, local Fire Department volunteers have been trained for fighting fires, but since the Eagle Ford Shale boom, they are most frequently called upon to assist with traffic accidents than to fight fires.

In fact, according to the Fire Department, ever since the boom in the Eagle ford Shale began, approximately 80% of the calls that the Fire Department receives are related to traffic accidents.  Over the past year, calls for help have doubled, and the staff strength simply hasn't kept pace.

Tags: Oil and Gas Law, Eagle Ford Shale

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