Ensuring First Responders are Ready

TransCanada helps increase pipeline IQ with new International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) partnership
Oct 25, 2013 11:30 AM ET

TransCanada Blog

Whenever they respond to an incident involving pipelines and related facilities, firefighters, paramedics and other first responders have a unique challenge – how to close off the scene of the incident and protect the public and the environment while the pipeline operator closes off the leak and prepares to clean up the site.

“To properly clear the scene and determine whether residents need to be evacuated, first responders need to know things like where the pipeline is, what is flowing through it, how fast the product is travelling and when and where the flow is being shut off so no new product comes into an area,” said Vern Meier, TransCanada’s vice president, pipeline safety & compliance.

“In areas where you have a number of pipelines in service, it can be a real challenge for first responders to know how many lines there are, who operates them and who to contact if there’s an incident. In more remote regions you might also have a pipeline operating safely for decades and first responders have forgotten that it’s there.  At TransCanada, we want to make sure first responders know where our facilities are, what they carry and who to contact in the unlikely event of an incident.”

In 2012, we communicated with more than 15,000 emergency response agencies across North America with information on our pipelines and emergency response procedures. In addition to this outreach, TransCanada held 35 public meetings attended by emergency responders and met face to face with 180 emergency management agencies and officials.

Recently we kicked that support up a notch with a four-year grant of US$825,000 to support the International Association of Fire Chiefs and their 1.2 million emergency responders across Canada and the United States. TransCanada’s support is intended to aid in the development of education and training for future emergency response and preparedness in North America — especially in energy and pipeline safety. The goal of the partnership is safer pipelines, safer emergency response and safer communities.

Read more about this unique partnership on TransCanada's blog.