TOPS Training Center Celebrates 15th Anniversary

A towering ice sculpture added to the special celebration.



The Transocean Training Center in Amelia, Louisiana, recently celebrated 15 years of training crew members for Gulf of Mexico operations through its Training for Optimum Performance in Safety (TOPS) program. A celebration was held at the center to recognize Transocean team members from the Amelia Warehouse, Park 10 Office and Corporate, as well as vendors who have contributed to TOPS’ success. Vendors recognized at the event included Taylors International, Petroleum Helicopters Inc., George’s Vans, Harbor Catering, Holiday Inn and the Young Memorial Campus of Louisiana Technical College.

Taylors provided the feast for the celebration and special recognition was given to Taylors’ employee Liliana Gordillo, who was recognized for six years of hard work, dedication and for being the foundation of TOPS in its successful operations. “Ms. Lily travels from New Orleans to Amelia, a distance of 70 miles, every day, arriving by 6 a.m. She works at least 12 hours and is a shining example of Transocean’s Core Values,” said Burt Crawford, TOPS Instructor.

Liliana Gordillo, Taylors International, received special recognition for her hard work and dedication to making TOPS a success. Presenting her award are (left to right): Brian “David” Hamilton, Development Programs Manager, North America; Jeff Hinton, TOPS Instructor; Philip “Smokey” Carlos, TOPS Instructor; and Gordon Applewhite, TOPS Instructor.TOPS was created in 1996 as an accident-prevention program. The early years of the program focused on entry-level positions. “About seven years ago, we decided TOPS could add more value if new employees at all levels were included in the program,” Crawford explained.

Several years ago, a TOPS program was set up in Newfoundland under the guidance of David Matlock, Operations Manager; Rene Rodrigues, Rig Manager, Performance, St. John’s; and Crawford.

Thousands of employees have attended TOPS since 1996. The training, which begins on Monday afternoon and ends on Sunday evening, includes 78 hours of classroom, hands-on and computer-based training.

“The entire curriculum is directed at achieving our Vision of incident-free operations, all the time, everywhere. That’s why we ask every graduate to perform a mental/individual THINK Plan and risk assessment for every task on the rig, no matter how small,” Crawford said. Upon graduation from TOPS, students attend water survival and firefighting courses at Young Memorial Campus of Louisiana Technical Institute.

The TOPS instructors agreed that support of the program has been great and the anniversary celebration was a huge success.