TransCanada and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) have commenced a four-year partnership aimed at improving pipeline safety awareness for firefighters and emergency responders across Canada and the United States.
“Fire departments have many tools they use to keep their communities save, but among the most vital are training and the collaboration of community stakeholders,” says 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 a relationship that supports the safety of communities.”
An $825,000 donation from TransCanada to the IAFC will fund a series of educational and training programs to support community and responder safety. The resources will be developed by bringing together IAFC's hazardous-materials and emergency-response expertise and TransCanada's engineering and safety personnel. Some highlights of the partnership include:
- Improving the availability of high-quality online training programs for energy and pipeline safety, encompassing 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
- Building relationships between local first responders and pipeline personnel
“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,” says Vern Meier, TransCanada Vice President - Pipeline Safety & Compliance. “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.”