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TransCanada 2014 CSR Report — Safety — Hardhats hanging on a wall TransCanada 2014 CSR Report — Safety — Hardhats hanging on a wall

2014 CSR | Safety

Protecting Our Communities Emergency Preparedness and Response

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TransCanada conducted more than 120 emergency drills and exercises across our entire network of assets in 2014. These simulations allow company personnel and external agencies to practice the skills and communication protocols required in the unlikely event of a serious incident involving one of our pipelines or facilities.

Our Emergency Preparedness and Response (EP&R) team is sharply focused on its strategic goal, “to effectively respond to and remediate emergencies in a timely and co-ordinated manner.” With oversight and governance from a steering committee of senior management, EP&R develops and continually improves programs to:

  • Provide robust and effective emergency response capabilities spanning the full scope and life cycle of our assets
  • Achieve high standards of competency and awareness for employees, contractors, stakeholders, communities and emergency responders

In 2014, we participated in the Canadian Energy Pipeline Associations (CEPA) joint emergency management exercise. This exercise was held in Edmonton, Alberta and focused on CEPA’s Mutual Emergency Assistance Agreement (MEAA) functionality. MEAAs enable members of CEPA to call upon each other to assist with emergency response situations, as needed. The purpose of the exercise was to provide participants with an opportunity to practice MEAAs on a simulated pipeline release/spill. It was a very valuable undertaking for TransCanada, and we are proud to have been part of the first exercise of its kind for us to engage with our industry partners.

Case Study: Emergency Preparedness - In Action
TransCanada representative viewing the Industry Emergency Response Portal on a laptop computer

“We call these low-frequency, high-risk events because they’re something you don’t see every day,” he says. “They can present a big risk, but, because they are so low frequency, we are not always attuned to deal with them.”


“The Industry Emergency Response Portal represents the next generation of pipeline safety training available to emergency responders and firefighters,” says Vern Meier, TransCanada’s vice-president of pipeline safety and compliance.

As the Deputy Chief of the Loveland-Symmes Fire Department in Loveland, Ohio, Billy Goldfeder says the key to effective fire response is knowing what you are facing and having the skills and equipment in place to deal with it. The biggest uncertainties for firefighters, he says, are the emergencies they seldom, if ever, encounter. This includes a natural disaster like a tornado or a hurricane, or an industrial event like an incident involving a pipeline.

“We call these low-frequency, high-risk events because they’re something you don’t see every day,” he says. “They can present a big risk, but, because they are so low frequency, we are not always attuned to deal with them.”

For Goldfeder, preparation for an unusual event like a pipeline incident has two simple components: “The first step is to identify if you have a pipeline in your district,” he says. “The second step is to immediately develop a plan which includes critical training so you know what to do when you get there.”

When Goldfeder attended the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Fire-Rescue International conference in Dallas in August, he came upon a resource that provided just what he was looking for: the Industry Emergency Response Portal which was created through collaboration between the American Petroleum Institute, the Association of Oil Pipe Lines, the National Association of State Fire Marshals and the IAFC, along with Shell and TransCanada. The portal provides links to information on pipelines and training on dealing with pipeline emergencies. Also in development is an application, to be unveiled in 2015, which enables first responders to check for exact locations on pipelines in their area and details on the product flowing through them.

“The Industry Emergency Response Portal represents the next generation of pipeline safety training available to emergency responders and firefighters,” says Vern Meier, TransCanada’s vice-president of pipeline safety and compliance.


TransCanada representative viewing the Industry Emergency Response Portal on a laptop computer

As the Deputy Chief of the Loveland-Symmes Fire Department in Loveland, Ohio, Billy Goldfeder says the key to effective fire response is knowing what you are facing and having the skills and equipment in place to deal with it. The biggest uncertainties for firefighters, he says, are the emergencies they seldom, if ever, encounter. This includes a natural disaster like a tornado or a hurricane, or an industrial event like an incident involving a pipeline.

For Goldfeder, preparation for an unusual event like a pipeline incident has two simple components: “The first step is to identify if you have a pipeline in your district,” he says. “The second step is to immediately develop a plan which includes critical training so you know what to do when you get there.”

“We call these low-frequency, high-risk events because they’re something you don’t see every day,” he says. “They can present a big risk, but, because they are so low frequency, we are not always attuned to deal with them.”


“The Industry Emergency Response Portal represents the next generation of pipeline safety training available to emergency responders and firefighters,” says Vern Meier, TransCanada’s vice-president of pipeline safety and compliance.

When Goldfeder attended the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Fire-Rescue International conference in Dallas in August, he came upon a resource that provided just what he was looking for: the Industry Emergency Response Portal which was created through collaboration between the American Petroleum Institute, the Association of Oil Pipe Lines, the National Association of State Fire Marshals and the IAFC, along with Shell and TransCanada. The portal provides links to information on pipelines and training on dealing with pipeline emergencies. Also in development is an application, to be unveiled in 2015, which enables first responders to check for exact locations on pipelines in their area and details on the product flowing through them.

“The Industry Emergency Response Portal represents the next generation of pipeline safety training available to emergency responders and firefighters,” says Vern Meier, TransCanada’s vice-president of pipeline safety and compliance.