The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) recently released Fire Department Pipeline Response, Emergency Planning, and Preparedness Toolkit PDF 1.8 MB, or FD PREPP, to help volunteer departments prepare for pipeline emergencies by increasing awareness and improving operational capabilities.
There are approximately 213,000 miles of liquid pipeline and 2.5 million miles of gas pipeline in the United States, the majority of which fall within the jurisdiction of volunteer fire departments. Often, these departments may have a more difficult time responding to pipeline emergencies due to he lack of personnel, training, resources and preparation.
Pipeline emergencies are considered low in frequency but high in risk. When they do occur, they can significantly impact the public and community. From 2005 to 2017, these incidents have cost 168 fatalities, 744 injuries and over $5.4 billion in emergency response costs, damages and lost product.
FD PREPP is a short 11-page document that briefly covers pre-planning and risk assessment, standards and regulations, and available training. It goes on to provide job aids, checklists and blank templates of valuable resources including:
- Pipeline map.
- Site safety plan.
- Incident command organizational chart.
- Safe response checklist.
This is an invaluable planning tool for any department that has a gas or liquid pipeline running through or near its response area. For more information on pipeline hazards, visit PHMSA and the Pipeline Association for Public Awareness.