Seeing is Believing

“Striking a natural gas line is not something anyone wants to take lightly,” says JimBob Sims, Director of Damage Prevention with Texas811. “Should it happen, you literally have only seconds to make decisions that could save your life. Calling 811 first puts you in the driver’s seat of safety.”

Are you a do-it-yourselfer? You don’t have to be framing an addition to your house; you could be doing something as irritating as assembling a bookshelf/ entertainment center/bar from a Swedish furniture store. Whatever you’re doing, those written instructions sometimes don’t work out all that well.

I Googled “bad instructions” and part of the guide for an outdoor play set popped up. Just black and white line drawings. Adding to the confusion, the diagram referred to numbers on other pages not included in the image. Frustrating? You bet. No wonder people turn to YouTube for a video to explain what’s going on so they can actually SEE it. It’s called education through
demonstration.

That’s why Texas811, Enertech, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and the Damage Prevention Councils of Texas are teaming up to bring you the PipelineResponse/Mock Line Strike initiative in 2017. You don’t need frustrations when you’re learning the how and why of calling 811 before digging… and seeing is believing!

This free pipeline safety awareness program is available across Texas, and includes not only Safety Day events but also county level meetings.

TEEX is instructing a free PipelineResponse training class at the county level meetings. These classes cover local information about pipelines, products, product properties, response infor-mation and local pipeline operators’ contact information.

Texas811 and the Damage Prevention Councils of Texas are instructing a damage prevention training class covering pipelines, products, product properties, state One Call laws, safe digging practices and local pipeline operators’ contact information.

Enertech is helping pipeline companies execute results-driven API RP 1162, CFR 192 and 195 public awareness, damage prevention and integrity management programs. Certifications are issued to PipelineResponse/ Mock Line Strike attendees.

Additionally, on behalf of every Emergency Responder attendee who comes to the Pipeline-Response training class, a $5.00 donation is made to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and/or the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, depending on the line of service each attendee represents.

While the classroom training is fundamental, the highlight of these events is the Mock Line Strike. Attendees get to see what happens when an underground gas line is hit by a backhoe because the operator didn’t call 811 first. This live scenario is accompanied by local first responders arriving on scene to contain the incident.

“Striking a natural gas line is not something anyone wants to take lightly,” says JimBob Sims, Director of Damage Prevention with Texas811. “Should it happen, you literally have only seconds to make decisions that could save your life. Calling 811 first puts you in the driver’s seat of safety.”

Mark Allen, president of 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.”

The full schedule for the remaining 2017 Safety Days and County Meetings can be found at
diggingtexas811.com. And, like any call or locate from 811, these events are absolutely free.

In the world of underground pipeline safety, seeing is believing.


Scott Finley is Manager, Media & Public Relations for Texas811. He can be reached at scottfinley@ texas811.org.

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