DON'T BE ALARMED: Mock gas line rupture at 4-H Fairgrounds Wednesday

Staff Writer


Enertech, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and NIPSCO will present the video and photo friendly Columbia City Safety Day on Wednesday, April 12th, from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm at the Whitley County Fairgrounds, 680 W Squawbuck Rd., Columbia City, IN 46725.

This free event brings first responders, utility, oil & gas, municipal, and county personnel together to take part in dynamic hands-on scenario safety training of a staged pipeline rupture – as close to the real thing as possible.
A presentation on the Indiana Dig Law begins at 8:30, going over rules and regulations and the need to call 811 prior to any excavation in order to get underground utilities located before excavation.
At 12:30 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. The Columbia City Fire Department, Parkview EMS/EMT service and NIPSCO 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 information and scenario presented here is applicable from larger cities down to small townships – anywhere that first responders have to protect citizens.

To give you an idea of what you’ll see, here is a video link to a recent Mock Line Strike event presented in South Bend.

“Striking a natural gas line is not something anyone wants to take lightly,” says Mark Allen, Enertech president. “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.”
Interviews are available with representatives from Enertech, IURC, NIPSCO and Columbia City emergency service responders.