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TransCanada and IAFC partner to improve responder safety

August 13, 2013 – TransCanada and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) are developing training programs and educational kits to improve safety for first responders who deal with pipeline incidents.

August 13, 2013
By Olivia D'Orazio

August 13, 2013 – TransCanada and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) are developing training programs and educational kits to improve safety for first responders who deal with pipeline incidents.

Calgary-based TransCanada, which operates the Keystone Pipeline that carries crude oil from Hardisty, Alta., into the Midwestern United States, and other pipeline routes, has donated $825,000 to fund the four-year partnership. The funding will cover the production and distribution of toolkits and online training programs for first responders in communities located near pipelines.

The partnership was announced this morning at the IAFC’s Fire-Rescue International conference in Chicago.

"Fire departments have many tools they use to keep their communities safe, but among the most vital are training and the collaboration of community stakeholders," IFAC president Hank Clemmensen said in a press release Tuesday.

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"The IAFC is pleased to bring our expertise in responder fuels training to this partnership with TransCanada to develop high-quality educational programs, and build relationships that support the safety of communities."

In particular, the partnership aims to make available more online training programs for energy and pipeline safety, especially those dealing with incident prevention and response. The project also includes the development of toolkits for first responders, which will include fact sheets, talking points, safety guides and information on prevention efforts.

The IAFC said it will be involved in TransCanada's regional emergency response field exercises for departments located near pipelines, oil terminals and storage tanks.

TransCanada’s Vern Meier, vice president of pipeline safety and compliance, said in the release that the partnership will help company employees and first responders develop a better understanding of each other’s roles in emergencies.

"In the unlikely event of an incident, TransCanada employees and first responders have clearly defined roles to help protect the public and the environment, and this partnership will enable us to have a unified approach and a consistent response before, during and after any incidents," Meier said.

TransCanada has contributed more than $2.3 million to communities across North America in the last five years to help emergency response and preparedness. These contributions have supported more than 370 fire departments in five Canadian provinces and 28 states.