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COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Pipelines have always played an integral role in the petrochemical industry; yet, until recently, pipeline emergency response training programs have not readily been available to responders.

The Texas Engineering Extension Service, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Association of State Fire Marshals, is changing this by offering the new Pipeline Emergencies course beginning Aug. 28.

TEEX has completed a 2,300-foot below-ground pipeline with multiple above-ground connections to train emergency responders, local officials, command staff and others to manage and mitigate pipeline emergencies. The project, which can leak both liquid and gas, is located at TEEX’s world-renowned Brayton Fire Training Field in College Station and was constructed with input from the world’s leading pipeline industry representatives.

The 40-hour program will be taught using three modules and will address pipeline awareness, operations and emergency response for both gas and liquid pipelines, and transmission and distribution systems.

The first module will concentrate on pipeline awareness, in which regulatory factors, causes of pipeline incidents, and prevention of pipeline emergencies will be covered through team-based exercises.

Students will then learn about both gas and liquid pipeline operations during the second module, which includes both transmission and distribution systems and below- and above-ground equipment. Pipeline safety programs, inspection, aging systems, equipment identification, and pipeline markings will also covered in this class.

The third class module will teach and exercise pipeline emergency response replicating a real-world scenario. The Incident Command System will be utilized under the guidelines of the National Incident Management System.

“The flexibility of the training props to leak both liquid and gas is very important when you consider the products you could encounter in any potential emergency,” said TEEX Program Supervisor Gordon Lohmeyer. “This course is a much-needed emergency response training tool, especially when you consider our aging pipeline infrastructure that crosses the United States and countries worldwide.”

For more information about the new course, visit www.teex.com/fire and click on Hazmat, or call 979-458-4719.

TEEX, a member of The Texas A&M University System, offers hands-on, customized training, technical assistance and emergency response services impacting Texas and beyond. Agency programs include fire services, homeland security, public safety and security, public works, safety and health, search and rescue, and economic solutions.

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Kathy Fraser

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