As part of Trans Mountain’s ongoing commitment to safety and emergency preparedness, we recently carried out emergency response training at two of our facilities in British Columbia.

A two-day training exercise at Kamloops Terminal involved practice of our Fire Pre-Plan for the terminal and refreshed our personnel on emergency response and equipment deployment procedures relating to fire response.

On-site equipment at Kamloops Terminal included response trailers, a structural protection unit and other associated response equipment. Employees, contractors and Kamloops Fire Rescue participated and/or observed the training. 

“Our biggest role here is support,” Kamloops Fire Rescue Capt. Chris Burnham said. “We learned that it is very important to have Unified Command here at the Kamloops Terminal. We can offer some firefighters, we can offer some equipment.”

At Blackpool Pump Station in the North Thompson region, a one-day emergency response training exercise refreshed our personnel on emergency response and equipment deployment procedures relating to wildfire response. Although wildfire fighting is led through provincial agencies such as the BC Wildfire Service, we are prepared to mitigate a wide variety of potential wildfire scenarios.

Employees and contractors participated in the exercise, which included the use of response trailers, a structural protection unit and other associated response equipment.

In addition to exercises like these, we work with the appropriate local, state and provincial agencies, participating in provincial and state authorities’ meetings and teleconferences around wildfire pre-planning, risk assessment and response coordination throughout the wildfire risk season. We also work with Indigenous communities on wildfire awareness events.

Effective planning, mitigation and response are key to minimizing potential impacts. We provide wildfire response and equipment training to Trans Mountain personnel in higher wildfire risk areas. Management of a fire-related incident is carried out according to our established Incident Command System (ICS).

Defensive operations for our infrastructure may be carried out by Trans Mountain staff, third-party contractors, provincial/state forestry resources or a combination of these.

Our facilities and remote assets are designed in respect of FireSmart standards for curtailing wildfire encroachment. For example, Trans Mountain facility sites have large gravelled areas of fire break and adhere to rigorous standards to reduce the possibility of a wildfire impact. Coupled with the metal construction of facility buildings, these measures help mitigate wildfire risks.

Our preparedness measures include locating equipment caches in areas where wildfire threats are higher. Equipment can include sprinklers to keep the area surrounding our assets wet to reduce the likelihood of ignition, fire resistant foam/gel applicator and large water tanks. For remote facilities, we have a wildfire gel trailer designed to provide Trans Mountain responders with a mobile wildfire suppression capability.

Trans Mountain personnel are trained to be vigilant about wildfire risks whether they are conducting work or patrolling in or around our facilities. If a Trans Mountain employee or contractor discovers a wildfire, they must immediately report it first to the appropriate state or provincial reporting line, then to the Trans Mountain Control Centre.

Generally, monitoring operations are composed of confirming the site is secured, evacuating all unnecessary personnel, shutting down site projects and maintenance work not critical to operations, and isolating sections of the pipeline, pump station and or valve, if necessary.

Third-party information is also valuable. Trans Mountain would be contacted by a government wildfire centre or emergency operations centre if someone reports a wildfire is threatening a Trans Mountain asset.