Enertech and Texas811 on Tuesday present an underground damage awareness scenario at the Johnson County Sheriff’s Posse Grounds, bringing together first responders and utility, oil and gas workers to take part in a mock line strike.
By Jessica Poundsemail@example.com | Sep 25, 2018 |
During a pipeline emergency, the actions taken by emergency responders are critical to protecting lives, property and the environment.
Enertech and Texas811 today presented an underground damage awareness scenario at the Johnson County Sheriff’s Posse Grounds, bringing together first responders and utility, oil and gas workers to take part in a mock line strike.
The demonstration involved a pipeline rupture scenario, including the consequences of unsafe digging.
“Striking a natural gas line is not something anyone wants to take lightly,” Enertech Project Manager Brad Britten said. “Should it happen, you literally have only seconds to make decisions that could save your life.
“As partners in safety, pipeline companies value the unique skills and expertise of the emergency responders. Working through this scenario, we all gain hands-on experience and learn from each other in the process.”
During the demonstration, Britten said everyone is an excavator — professional or not — and if planning to dig needs to know where underground utility lines are located.
“Whether you are putting in a fence or planting a tree, every single one of us when we are disturbing dirt is an excavator,” he said. “Just in Texas alone, there’s 448,446 miles of buried pipelines and that is growing on a daily basis.”
He said using Texas811 services can be the difference between safe digging and dangerous digging.
“Prior to the excavation, the contractor will come out and mark where they want to dig,” he said. “They will then place a call to 811 to have someone come out and check for pipelines.”
If a gas line has been hit or damaged someone at the scene should call 911 immediately.
“One of the first things first responders want to do when they get there is talk to the excavator and find out what’s going on,” Cleburne Fire Department Lt. Cory White said. “They will first get the victim away from the pipeline and then get him emergency care.”
Enertech spokesperson Scott Finely said Texas is honeycombed with underground gas delivery lines that get cut or punctured every six minutes.
“Perhaps there’s been a recent incident where you live,” he said. “While the subject of this drill is a ruptured gas line, the same requirements for safe digging also correspond to buried water, electric and telecommunications lines, to name a few.”
For more information, visit texas811.org.