First responders attend pipeline safety exercise

Daniel DeMersseman | The Valdosta Daily TimesPresenter Sam Jerideau of Paradigm Liaison Services instructs first responders on emergency pipeline safety standards and procedures at the James H. Rainwater Conference Center.

VALDOSTA — First responders attended a presentation and pipeline safety exercise at the Rainwater Conference Center Wednesday morning.

“What is the likelihood of a pipeline bursting in the Valdosta area?” asked presenter Sam Jerideau of Paradigm Liaison Services.

“Pipeline incidents do not happen often,” Jerideau said.

However, most pipeline incidents are caused by homeowners and farmers unwittingly striking and bursting distribution lines, he said.

Distribution lines are the most common type of pipeline and are generally buried at the shallowest depths, and the soil above pipelines is prone to erode in time, Jerideau said.

Additionally, all pipeline companies are required by law to register with 811, a government program providing information on existing pipelines. Therefore, anyone should call 811 prior to any digging, he said.

Jerideau reviewed emergency pipeline safety standards and procedures with the first responders before separating them into groups. The groups participated in pipeline safety exercises, where each member worked together to resolve imagined emergency scenarios.

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