The Woodward News

March 20, 2014

Course focuses on disaster prevention

Rachael Van Horn
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — Several counties in the region sent road crews and emergency responder employees to a safety course aimed to prevent pipeline disasters as well as help respond safely to them.

The course was held at High Plains Technology Center on Tuesday. It was organized by Oklahoma Pipeline Awareness Liaison, an association that includes numerous major pipeline players in this region as well as companies such as Call Okie and One Call.

Course instructor was Larin Antilla, Oklahoma City firefighter and subject matter expert.

Antilla didn't just talk about the nature of gases and liquids that turn to gas, he also performed demonstrations that allowed students to understand the nature of certain elements.

For instance, Antilla demonstrated the nature of a liquid substance, such as propane when it makes contact with the atmosphere and how it flashes from a liquid to a gas.

Those properties, Antilla said, are important to understand for times when emergency responders and county road graders could find themselves at risk. A good example was several months ago north of Rosston when a large gas pipeline exploded and both county workers and emergency responders responded to the disaster.

According to Damage Prevention Supervisor for pipeline transmission company Kinder Morgan, Tim Tucker, the course is information that is required by law to offer to all workers who could come into contact with pipelines.

"It went pretty well, we had operators with maybe two or three representatives and then all the emergency responders," Tucker said. "It was good turnout."

Harper County had a number of employees at the course.

Tucker said there will be efforts made to offer another course soon.