Bringing safety advocates to the table in Hamilton

Tabletop exercises help bolster our emergency preparedness and response systems

For events like these, agility, teamwork and readiness are always on the table.

In recent weeks, Enbridge personnel held an emergency response tabletop exercise in Hamilton, Ontario, alongside regional fire, police, emergency management and government agencies.

As always, the exercise focused on the vital communication, synergy and respective roles necessary for first responders, industry and government in the event of a pipeline emergency.

Safety is Enbridge’s highest priority, and we augment our aggressive prevention program—which invested C$1.2 billion in 2018 on maintaining the fitness of our systems—with hundreds of emergency response drills across North America.

“The goal of our tabletop exercises, like the one we held in Hamilton, is largely to break down the so-called ‘silos’ between police, fire, EMS, emergency management, industry and local government—and determine how we can best work together in the unlikely event of a pipeline incident,” says Silvio da Silva, Enbridge’s emergency response coordinator in Ontario and Quebec.

Prevention is a critical component of pipeline safety, and we focus on prevention at Enbridge before issues arise. While our ultimate goal is to prevent all spills and releases, we’re also committed, as a responsible pipeline operator, to providing a comprehensive incident response at any point along our pipeline network.

In 2018, Enbridge was involved in 315 drills, simulation exercises and equipment deployment events, in all North American regions where we operate, to test and sharpen our emergency preparedness.

During the Hamilton event, representatives of the Hamilton Police Service, the Hamilton Fire Department, Enbridge and government agencies such as Environment and Climate Change Canada gathered for a tabletop exercise in a “no-fault” learning environment.

Players worked off a drill scenario involving an unauthorized ground disturbance that caused a crude oil release, working through a simulated response and evaluating capabilities, plans, systems and processes.