Last week, Trans Mountain was in Merritt with their emergency response team to conduct a pair of exercises, one on the Nicola River, the other on Nicola Lake.
The purpose of the exercises was to test new response equipment, practice Trans Mountain’s Emergency Response Plan, confirm viable spill control points and refresh personnel on the water-based spill response tactics.
“Our goal is to operate, manage and protect the pipeline system so that our emergency response plans are never used while being fully prepared for any type of incident,” says Kelly Malinoski, Trans Mountain’s Director of Emergency Management. “In-the-field training helps to ensure an efficient response in the unlikely event of an incident, and allows us to train together with agencies, first responders and Indigenous communities to ensure that we are fully prepared to respond in a timely and effective manner.”
After the first day on Nicola River, Q101 caught up with Brian Jahnke, Operations Manager with Trans Mountain for the Kamloops Region.
“We’re constantly looking for opportunities for efficiency and new technology that is going to help us in the event we have to respond. So, today was just that, we had our traditional boom as well as a new style of boom that is rapid response, requiring less manpower,” said Jahnke.
Along with the big team from Trans Mountain, some local organizations and groups were involved in the exercise.
“We’re trying to build relationships and enhance our emergency management program. Whether it’s Indigenous communities, Merritt Fire Rescue, all those bodies could be called upon should we have an incident. So, having those relationships is important,” concluded Jahnke.
The team completes in the neighbourhood of 20 training exercises every year up and down the pipeline route.
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