TransCanada and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) have started a four-year partnership aimed at improving pipeline safety awareness for firefighters and emergency responders across the United States and Canada. The pipeline company’s $825,000 donation to the IAFC to fund the partnership was announced Aug. 13 at the association’s Fire-Rescue International Conference and Expo in Chicago.
“Safety is priority one for both TransCanada and the IAFC and so this partnership will be a significant benefit to our employees, IAFC’s members and ultimately the communities we do business in,” said Vern Meier, vice president of TransCanada’s Pipeline Safety & Compliance segment. “This partnership will result in further improvements to the availability of high quality training and awareness materials for pipelines targeting emergency responders and firefighters. In the unlikely event of an incident, TransCanada employees and first responders have clearly defined roles to help protect the public and the environment, and this partnership will enable us to have a unified approach and a consistent response before, during and after any incidents.”
Some highlights of the partnership include:
• Improving the availability of high quality online training programs for energy and pipeline safety, encompassing incident prevention and response.
• Development of toolkits to be used by first responders, which will include fact sheets, talking points, safety guides and information on prevention efforts.
• IAFC involvement in TransCanada’s regional emergency response field exercises for departments located near company assets.
“Fire departments have many tools they use to keep their communities safe, but among the most vital are training and the collaboration of community stakeholders,” said Chief Hank Clemmensen, IAFC president and chairman of the board. “For 140 years, the IAFC has been a champion of fire department training and education, making sure responders stay out in front of the changes in the built environment and local infrastructure. The IAFC is pleased to bring our expertise in responder fuels training to this partnership with TransCanada to develop high-quality educational programs, and build relationships that support the safety of communities.”
Since 2008, TransCanada has contributed more than $2.3 million (CAD) to community partners and leaders whose mission is to grow and support emergency response and preparedness. Through these partnerships the company has supported more than 370 fire departments and organizations in 28 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces.