How We Prepare

We strive to prevent incidents before they occur. That goal drives our actions and decisions every moment and every day. We also prepare so that if an incident does occur, we are ready to respond quickly, safely and effectively, mobilizing expert and well-equipped crews and collaborating with first response agencies.

Case Studies

Bighorn River drill tests Enbridge’s emergency response capabilities in Wyoming

As a former firefighter, Lex Dyer “lived and breathed training.”

Dyer was entirely in his element in August 2020, as the Enbridge emergency response specialist based in Casper, Wyoming coordinated a simulation drill on the nearby Bighorn River to test Enbridge’s emergency response preparedness.

“I come from the fire service, and we lived and breathed training. So I've always tried to get different perspectives on what we were doing and am open to learning about new ways to go about our response,” says Dyer.

The Aug. 25, 2020 response exercise involved about a dozen Enbridge employees, including members of our Powell District field response team. The exercise focused on containment and recovery of a simulated release from our Express-Platte Pipeline into the Bighorn River due to a block valve leak. Participants used booms and skimmers to practice containing and recovering a release.

“Our emergency response drills are a twofold effort, in that that we test our equipment—making sure everything is in good working order—and we also test our teams, as far as knowledge goes, on our plans for a response to a release,” says Dyer.

While turnout response was limited in 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns, these drills typically involve representatives of local emergency response organizations working alongside Enbridge personnel.

At Enbridge, safety isn’t just a core value—it’s embedded in everything we do.

Prevention is a critical component of pipeline safety, and we focus on prevention at Enbridge before issues arise, with the ultimate goal of preventing all spills and releases.

And while we hope we never have to respond to an incident, we’re committed to being prepared in the event that we do. We maintain a strong emergency management training and exercise program, and we work with local first responders, emergency management and government agencies to make continuous improvement.

In 2020, hundreds of Enbridge personnel and external stakeholders participated in more than 186 drills, simulation exercises and equipment deployment events, in all North American regions where we operate, to test and sharpen our emergency preparedness.

We also greatly increased Indigenous participation in these training exercises and created a new incident notification protocol for informing Indigenous communities and small communities about incidents.

People positioning a boat in a river A simulation drill on the Bighorn River in August 2020 near Casper, WY helped Enbridge's Powell District field response team stay prepared in the unlikely event of a pipeline incident.
Air tanks for firefighters A $36,700 grant from Enbridge's Safe Community First Responder Program helped the Mackinaw City Fire Department in Northern Michigan purchase a new air filling station, allowing firefighters on-scene to receive SCBA tanks more efficiently.

New air filling station to provide increased capacity for Mackinaw City Fire Department

This filling station doesn’t offer jump at the pump—it provides the breath of life.

In early 2020, the Mackinaw City Fire Department in Northern Michigan purchased a new air filling station with increased capacity to deliver air tanks to firefighters on-scene more efficiently.

“What used to take us around four hours to fill up a smaller-sized cascade system now only takes about two hours to fill the entire system. The new system is capable of filling 41 SCBA tanks, which is around twice the capacity our old system was able to handle,” explains Lieutenant John House.

Replacing the old, outdated system was a priority for the fire department, since air tanks are a lifeline for firefighters, providing clean air to breathe when they enter an active fire scene.

The department covers the village of Mackinaw City, as well as Wawatam and Mackinaw Townships, and has mutual aid agreements with fire departments through Cheboygan, Emmet and Mackinac Counties.

“If there was a mutual aid incident in Mackinaw where we had to call in surrounding departments, we could fill their air bottles and keep up better as they switch out tanks. The faster we can fill the tanks, the faster we can get our firefighters back to the scene,” House says.

The Mackinaw City FD is a volunteer fire department that is made up of 23 certified firefighters based out of two fire stations in the village.

“Like any other small department, it’s getting harder and harder for us to find people to join the department. It’s a big commitment; we’re basically on-call 24 hours a day,” says fire chief John Krueger.

“It's challenging to get a group together sometimes, but we’re lucky to have surrounding departments that we work well with that can come to our aid when it’s necessary,” he adds.

At Enbridge, safety is a core value—and the very foundation of our business. Our Safe Community First Responder Program helps emergency responder organizations keep the communities near our operations safe, and our recent contribution of $36,700 to the Mackinaw City FD allowed for the outdated air filling station to be replaced.

“We’re really appreciative of Enbridge and everything they do for us. It’s important for us to have working and up-to-date equipment so we can serve our community better and we’re thankful Enbridge can help provide support for that,” says Krueger.

By the numbers

2,700

Enbridge has trained thousands of its employees to respond safety and effectively in the event of an incident, including more than 2,700 members of our team who have been provided with in-depth, hands-on training in the Incident Command System.


186

In 2020, Enbridge staged more than 186 drills, exercises and equipment deployments to hone our emergency preparedness skills and capability. Hundreds of our personnel participated and we worked closely with local, regional and federal first response agencies and Indigenous partners so that we’re ready to join forces and collaborate effectively when necessary.