Oilwell fire fighter Red Adair film from Periscope Film. YouTube/Periscope Film.

“In the oilpatch, there’s no such word as ‘can’t.’ We’ll do it, somehow.” – Red Adair

This took place 60 years ago in 1961-62. They use a massive hook to tear apart the destroyed drilling rig, and covered their D8 dozers with corrugated metal as heat shields.

Red Adair is probably the most famous oilwell fire fighters in history. At 12:12 he refers to his to protégés, Asger “Boots” Hansen and Ed “Coots” Matthews, who went on to form Boot & Coots, which was very active, along with Adair’s company, Red Adair Co., in putting out the Kuwaiti oil wells lit ablaze by Iraq in the 1990-1991 Gulf War.

Thankfully, in 14 years covering the Saskatchewan oilpatch, I haven’t seen any site that would need those type of services. That’s a huge testament to the safety of our operations today. But that doesn’t mean a blowout couldn’t happen tomorrow. Take half an hour and watch this video throughout. This is why we all wear fire retardant coveralls.

The film is found on the Periscope Film YouTube Channel.


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Jim Warren: Who’s next? First it was fossil fuels that were demonized, now is it agriculture?