Standing shoulder to shoulder

Pipeline emergency video series for emergency responders emphasizes teamwork, safety

It’s working shoulder to shoulder—and, at the same time, having each other’s back.

In recent weeks, the American Petroleum Institute (API), the Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL) and the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) released a series of videos targeted at firefighters and other emergency responders.

The Shoulder to Shoulder series’ overarching message? We’re all in this together.

“The most important thing we wanted to convey to first responders is knowing that transmission pipelines are likely in your community, and what that means,” says Cathy Landry, INGAA’s vice president of communications. “Pipeline incidents are rare, but can have serious consequences . . .so be aware, be prepared, and know what you’re dealing with.

“A response to an oil pipeline incident is going to be different than a response to a natural gas pipeline incident,” she adds. “And if such an event does happen, we all have a role to play.”

With input from various groups, including emergency responders and regulators, the Shoulder to Shoulder video series—online at shoulder2shoulder.tv—was shot largely on the training grounds of the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service.

Numerous first response organizations in the Houston area were also involved, as well as Enbridge and other pipeline operators.

This rapid-fire series of six Shoulder to Shoulder series videos, which can all be viewed by fire departments and emergency response organizations in less than 30 minutes, includes information on:

“This series emphasizes how emergency responders and operations groups need to work together on pipeline emergencies,” says Dan Larrington, senior operations manager for Enbridge’s East Texas gas pipelines and processing region, who had a significant speaking role in the Shoulder to Shoulder video series. “Working together, and understanding each other’s roles, is key to having as successful an emergency response as you can hope for.”

The Shoulder to Shoulder series is being targeted at first response organizations through digital advertising, social media, and organized outreach from INGAA and API/AOPL member companies and emergency response trade associations.

Kesley Tweed, manager of Enbridge’s U.S. Public Awareness Program, collaborated with INGAA, API and AOPL to develop the Shoulder to Shoulder project, and says producing the series has opened doors to further relationships in the name of safety.

“Now that the videos are online, we’re spreading the word in any way we can,” she says. “We’re casting as wide a net as possible with emergency responders.”