The tour served as an opportunity for local first responders and emergency service organizations to see and experience construction activity and how the project is keeping our people and communities safe.
“We truly believe that we’re all friends and family when you come onto this project, and none of us want to see our friends and family get hurt,” said Robert Cummings, a Coastal GasLink field safety advisor who led the tour.
Cummings was joined by Kitimat Fire Chief Trent Bossence, Deputy Chief Dave Jephson of the Terrace Fire Department, Search and Rescue and Water Rescue Teams, and Thornhill Fire Chief Rick Boehm, along with other project team members.
The tour allowed for Coastal GasLink’s team to learn from first responders’ expertise and ensure emergency response plans that reflect local needs and capacity and vice versa. First responders remarked on the project’s advanced onsite medical support and transportation resources, along with wildfire and natural disaster response programs.
“LNG Canada and Coastal GasLink are setting that bar very high for future projects in British Columbia,” noted Dave, Deputy Chief of the Terrace Fire Department, following the tour.
It’s important that local emergency service providers have a strong understanding of what is happening on the project in their community. The tour created a common understanding of what’s happening on the project right-of-way and provided the opportunity to learn about capabilities so that in the event of an emergency, we can work together seamlessly to protect local communities. Notably, Coastal GasLink’s ability to provide aerial visibility via helicopter along the right-of-way can be used to support local first responders in the event of an emergency.
“Safety is, and always will be, our number one priority,” said Coastal GasLink Public Affairs Advisor Jessica Stephens. “Staying prepared takes teamwork, collaboration, and an effective emergency response plan and first responders play a critical role in helping us keep the community safe.”
The tour is just one of many engagements Coastal GasLink has had with local emergency responders in Northern British Columbia. As part of the project’s commitment to building strong and vibrant communities, Coastal GasLink has funded critical training programs and facilities that are helping local communities get the training and equipment they need to respond to emergencies. Coastal GasLink is a partner sponsor of the Burns Lake and Fraser Lake fire training facilities, and more recently announced a $15,000 contribution to the Terrace Search and Rescue Building & Emergency Operations Center.
Investments in first responders are part of TC Energy’s Build Strong program, which invested more than $17 million in more than 1,500 non-profit organizations and community enhancement projects across North America in 2017.