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TransCanada – CSR – Safety: Employees at TransCanada’s Otter Lake Compressor Station in northern Alberta. TransCanada – CSR – Safety: Employees at TransCanada’s Otter Lake Compressor Station in northern Alberta.

GETTING IT RIGHT | Safety

Protecting Our Communities Emergency Preparedness and Response

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TransCanada has an industry-leading safety record, and our goal is to have zero safety incidents at our facilities. Being prepared for the rare cases when something does go wrong is part of our commitment to ensuring the safety of the communities where we operate.

In the event of an emergency, our goal is to ensure an effective, co-ordinated response to contain and control any incident in order to minimize harm to people, property, company operations, and the environment.

All our projects have a specific Emergency Response Plan that outlines the steps we’ll take to respond in the unlikely event of an incident.

TransCanada conducted more than 125 emergency drills and exercises across our entire network of assets in 2015. 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.

In an emergency, our local field staff handle direct response activities such as isolation of the emergency, containment and control, co-ordination of response activities and restoration of service.

By working with our communities through regular emergency drills and exercises, TransCanada builds relationships with local first responders and community officials, informing each other of emergency response strategies and gaining an understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities.

Kapuskasing's Fire Chief Gerry Demeules talks about collaborating with TransCanada.


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.