First responders practice saving lives at mock gas line strike

First responders practice saving lives at mock gas line strike

WICHITA FALLS, TX - First Responders could experience first hand Thursday what it is like when equipment hits a pipeline.

Randy West with Atmos Energy said it is important to know what is below to keep yourself from busting a line.  Not doing so, can be serious.

"Damage you know to the property risk of life is very important for people to take this serious," said West.

Diggers are not the only ones effected.  It is also important for first responders to know what to do when rolling up to a line strike.

That's why Atmos held a training course for first responders.
The Wichita Falls Fire Department responds to anywhere from 10 to 15 busted lines every year, which is why fire chief Jon Reese came with his team.
"Getting to see how they mark and make some sense of it I think a lot of people see all these markings on concrete and on the streets and for us it helps us understand the color coding and the rational behind how they mark so that we know what kind of utilities we are dealing with," said Reese.

2 different scenarios happened Thursday.

The 1st one where the linemen did everything correctly from marking, inspecting the area, and calling 8-1-1 to let officials know of the dig.

The 2nd one is where 1st responders got their practice.

West said gas lines are not the only worry.
"A water line or a sewer line is just as important that you don't do that as it cutting a gas line or an electrical line," said West.

Experts said the best thing you can do before you start digging is dial 8-1-1, that way they can tell you if there are any lines you need to be aware of.