Corporate Responsibility

Emergency responder staging area built on foundation of strong relationships

Staff Reports
employees and first responders by fire vehicle

Employees from Williams, CHS, Enterprise and the McPherson Fire Department meet at Mutual Aid Conway, or MAC. The site is intended to be used as a staging area in case of emergency incidents for Williams and other nearby energy operators.

For Williams, being a safety-minded neighbor in the communities where we operate is a given – it’s part of our Core Values & Beliefs. But in Conway, Kansas, we’ve even extended our safety focus to the other energy operators around us.

In 2018, during a quarterly “Mutual Aid Conway” meeting, Williams initiated a discussion with the McPherson (Kan.) Fire Department and the McPherson County Sheriff, along with three other energy operators in the area – CHS, Enterprise and ONEOK. The goal of the discussion was to get consensus on the need to create a central staging area in the event any of the companies ever experienced an emergency incident.

“The area surrounding our plant includes the operations of several other companies,” says Randy Heinrichs, senior operations manager, at Williams’ Mid-Continent Fractionation & Storage plant. “If there was ever a scenario where we or our neighbors needed to set up an incident command system quickly, the idea was that this would serve as our staging point.”

Ultimately, the organizations all agreed that it was a worthwhile endeavor. So, Williams donated and cleared a small patch of land near corn and wheat fields about a half mile east of our plant; and all four companies shared in the cost of construction. Once completed, the site was named Mutual Aid Conway (or MAC) and now provides space for first responders and company support equipment in the event of an emergency.

Steve Wilson, safety & health specialist III, says the MAC Group is reflective of the power of building and maintaining positive working relationships with our neighbors in the community, even if those neighbors may be business competitors in some cases.

“What’s unique about the Staging Area,” Steve explains, “is that we were able to leverage the strong relationships we’ve established and fostered with the other companies around us, as well as first responders, to create a partnership and commitment to assist one another if a time of need ever arises.

“The MAC Group and the Staging Area is a win for Williams, a win for our neighbors and a win for the surrounding communities of McPherson County,” he adds.