On behalf of the Kansas Pipeline Association, Anadarko’s Senior Field Analyst Mike Pond, right, presents Seward County Sheriff Bill McBryde, left, with a $1,000 check. In January, Seward County FIrst Responders attended KPA training which in turn made the county eligible to enter the $1,000 drawing. Only two first responding agencies from each district of 18 counties was awarded the $1,000 prize. L&T photo/Jessica Crawford
By JESSICA CRAWFORD
• Leader & Times
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), claims there is somewhere in the neighborhood of 45,877 miles of underground pipeline and 934,094 residences and businesses served by natural gas distribution companies within the State of Kansas alone. With numbers of this magnitude, it is important for local first responders to be educated in the event that something goes wrong. This is where the Kansas Pipeline Association (KPA) steps into picture.
Anadarko Senior Field Analyst and KPA representative Mike Pond presented Seward County Sheriff Bill McBryde a $1,000 check on behalf of the KPA Friday morning. The funds, Pond said, were a result of a drawing for agencies which participated in KPA-sanctioned training early this year.
“The Kansas Pipeline Association puts on a first responders training in January, February and March in the State of Kansas,” Pond said. “They have it in Dodge, Garden, Ulysses and Hugoton. Any first responder agency that shows up, their name is entered into a drawing and is randomly drawn. After the training sessions are over, a $1,000 gift is awarded (to the winner of the drawing) to help their agency. We give two away in each district – each district consists of 18 counties.”
It is extremely important, Pond said, to ascertain first responders are equipped to handle an incident concerning pipelines, if such an incident may arise.
“Pipeline companies have to make the public aware of different things about pipelines,” he said. “On the other hand, we work with the first responders as well. We put on the trainings so they kind of know we expect of them and what they expect of us so we can kind of work together during an emergency.”
Sheriff Bill McBryde was not only thankful for the funding the Seward County Sheriff’s Department received, he was extremely grateful for the training KPA brought to the county of Jan. 20.
“We appreciate them putting on the training for first responders and all of our officers because we are the first responders – we will be the first ones out there,” McBryde said. “There may be a pipe sticking out of the ground with a fire blowing out of it. We need to know how to handle that.”
For further information regarding the KPA, Pond would like to direct anyone with inquiries to www.kpa-awareness.com.