So here we are in the last week of Safe Digging Month. Hope you’ve done your part to keep our underground infrastructure safe!
At Texas811, we closed the month with our annual golf tournament. This year something new was added – all proceeds go toward our new Texas811 Foundation. In years past we’ve held the tournament to benefit a single entity; now, funds raised toward the Foundation will help us to help MORE non-profits in Texas.
After the tournament ended, it was back on the road again. Your Damage Prevention Managers do a lot of industry related programs, such as our Safety Days!
Got one in Victoria this Thursday, so here’s the shameless plug for it: (Don’t worry, there’s more blog following this commercial break)
For Immediate Release
When: Thursday, April 27, 2017 9:00am – 1:00 pm
Where: Emerging Technology Complex, 7403 Lone Tree Road, Victoria, TX 77904 http://conferenceinvictoria.com/
Contact: Jaime Medina, 713-962-5563 firstname.lastname@example.org Denise Story, 817-653-5228 email@example.com
VICTORIA GOLDEN CRESCENT SAFETY DAY HIGHLIGHTS LIVE PIPELINE RUPTURE RESPONSE
Enertech, Texas811, Halff Associates, the City of Victoria and the Damage Prevention Councils of Texas Golden Crescent Council will present the video and photo friendly Victoria Golden Crescent Safety Day at the Emerging Technology Complex, 7403 Lone Tree Road, Victoria, TX 77904 on Thursday, April 27th, from 9:00am – 1:00pm.
This free event brings first responders, utility, oil & gas, municipal, and county personnel together to take part in dynamic hands-on scenario safety training.
Exhibits and equipment demos are open from 9:00 to 10:30 in meeting halls 101A and B and a backhoe rodeo in which operators vie for prizes by maneuvering their rigs to pick up and move small objects will also be held on site.
A Pipeline Response class by TEEX (Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service) runs from 9:30 to 10:30 in meeting halls 101C and D. This class covers local information about pipelines, product properties, response information and local pipeline operators’ contact information.
At 11:00 attendees have the rare opportunity to experience a mock natural gas line strike showing what happens when a natural gas line is struck by mechanized digging equipment, and what steps need to be taken in the immediate aftermath. City of Victoria first responders and pipeline operator Center Point Energy will work together in a unified command to control the incident. (The line is actually pressurized with air for this event to simulate natural gas). The mock strike will happen behind the meeting hall outside. Here’s a still from a past event:
Here is a video link to a recent Mock Line Strike event presented in Wichita Falls, Texas. http://www.newschannel6now.com/story/34933990/first-responders-practice-saving-lives-at-mock-gas-line-strike
“Striking a natural gas line is not something anyone wants to take lightly,” says Jaime Medina, Damage Prevention Manager with Texas811. “Should it happen, you literally have only seconds to make decisions that could save your life.”
Denise Story with Enertech agrees. “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.”
Ok, that’s it for the shameless Safety Day plug…back to the blog.
On Saturday I was at a very well attended outdoor festival in Denton, Texas, representing Texas811 with a table and just answering questions.
I had a lot of folks stop by who weren’t aware of what 811 is or does, or even that it’s required by law in Texas if digging below 16 inches. Not a problem, it’s easy to tell a story I’m passionate about. However, one young man absolutely floored me.
He was with his mom, said he was in third grade, and was wearing a Batman t-shirt. Well, I’m also a fan of the Bat (more the 1960’s TV series than anything else) so we struck up a conversation. I asked him if he thought Batman believed in civic duty.
“Of course,” he replied.
“Well, then,” I said, and handed him one of our American Public Works Association color code cards. “You’ve seen the little colored flags stuck in the ground?”
“This card tells you what the flag colors mean and what kind of utility is buried beneath them,” I said, and went through it with him.
“Awesome!” he said. “I’m going to take this to school on Monday and tell all the kids about it!”
“That’s great,” I replied. “And remember, when you see those flags, it means someone has called 811 to get buried lines located before digging.”
“Cool,” he said, a bright smile on his face. “And I’ll also tell the kids we shouldn’t pull those flags up out of the ground anymore, either!”
Well, at least he was honest about it….
Until next week, safe digging!
By Scott Finley