Midwest Damage Prevention Training Conference Offers Free Registrations for First-Time Attendees
The 2016 Midwest Damage Prevention Training Conference is offering 115 free two-night registration packages to qualifying first-time conference attendees through a scholarship program sponsored by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC). Damage prevention professionals who work in Indiana and have never before attended the conference can apply for the scholarship program by visiting www.811scholarships.com. Applications should be submitted by Friday, Sept. 30. See the sidebar to the left for more information about the conference.
Indiana 811 Celebrates 8/11 Day with Block Party and Cakes!
In celebration of national 8/11 Day (Aug. 11), damage prevention advocates in the Indianapolis area hosted an evening block party in Carmel, Ind., in an open lot adjacent to a popular walking path that leads to several busy restaurants, shops and bars.
Damage prevention partners shared the importance of contacting 811 prior to digging through safety messages and demonstrations for community members. The free block party featured hands-on locating demonstrations, face painting, music, games, and tee shirts for families to enjoy. Summer fair-themed treats were provided, including salt water taffy, Cracker Jack, snow cones, cookies with the 811 logo, and ice cold bottles of water. Guests also had the opportunity to explore the Indiana Pacers' Fan Van and take a picture with Indiana 811's mascot, Holey Moley.
Sponsors of the block party included USIC, Vectren, Marathon Pipe Line LLC, Indiana 811, Tallgrass Energy, Miller Pipeline, SAMCO, NIPSCO, Indianapolis Power and Light, JDH Contracting, Badger Daylighting, the City of Carmel and the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.
To help spread the word about 8/11 Day and the block party, special cakes decorated with a safe digging infographic were delivered to Indianapolis television and radio stations. Media coverage of 8/11 Day appeared on every local network TV station, as well as on Indy classic rock station WFBQ 94.7 FM, home of the Bob & Tom Show.
Indiana 811 Members Promote Safe Digging on 8/11 Day
Dean Kieffer, senior vice president and general manager of Community Natural Gas, was interviewed on WITZ 990 AM/104.7 FM in Jasper on 8/11 Day to share important safety reminders and statistics with listeners in Southern Indiana.
Employees at NIPSCO took action on 8/11 Day to spread the 811 message. “We wanted to remind everyone – our employees and the communities we serve – that they should call 811 before any digging project,” said Jennifer Barbour, NIPSCO public awareness manger. “So, we partnered with different departments in the company to make sure the message was spread all day.” And an all-day affair it was. Walking in to work, employees were greeted with 811 logoed cookies handed out by the accounting department. The damage prevention, GIS records and enhancement teams also challenged employees to take photos with coworkers wearing 811 tee shirts for the chance to win a prize.
To spread awareness to the communities NIPSCO serves daily, Luke Bradley, South Bend Gas Operations Center manager, appeared on ABC 57 and WSBT CBS 22 in South Bend. Indiana 811’s Holey Moley also had a special cameo on NIPSCO's Facebook page in a video produced for the 811 campaign – an effort that garnered more than 14,000 views. “This was such an amazing day,” Barbour said. “It shows that NIPSCO employees take 811 to heart! We’re all ambassadors of safety!” And, the results are speaking for themselves. It’s because of efforts like this that NIPSCO is seeing record low damage rates and record high numbers of locate requests in 2016.
Sharing the 811 Message with Sports Fans
At the Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard, which took place July 24 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, race goers received safe digging reminders through "811" and "call before you dig" signage throughout the venue. Representatives from Citizens Energy Group, Indianapolis Power and Light, USIC, Vectren and Indiana 811 attended the race and received a behind-the-scenes tour of a hauler.
Indiana 811 is a proud sponsor of the Indianapolis Colts, and in addition to having signage at Lucas Stadium, Indiana 811 receives exposure among football fans through ads on the Colts' radio network throughout the fall. This partnership serves as an excellent way to continue reaching both homeowners and professionals while the weather is still warm enough for outdoor projects that require digging.
Reaching Emergency Responders
The Indiana Pipeliness Awareness Association (INPAA) had an exhibitor booth at the 2016 Indiana Emergency Response Conference (IERC), which took place Aug. 24-27 in Indianapolis at the Sheraton Keystone. The theme of this year's event was "Preparedness: Past, Present, and Future." The conference, which brings together professionals from the fire, EMS, law enforcement, HAZMAT, special ops and emergency management fields from across the state, had 676 attendees. INPAA, supported by Indiana 811, Vectren and Citizens Energy Group, enjoyed sharing pipeline safety information and the safe digging message with Indiana’s emergency responders. In particular, attendance at INPAA’s 2017 Emergency Responder Training Meetings was encouraged. Check out the schedule below, or visit the events section of www.inpaa.org.
Emergency Responder 2017 Training Schedule:
- Jan. 3 – Das Essenhaus in Middlebury at 5:30 p.m.
- Jan. 4 – Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth at 5:30 p.m.
- Jan. 5 – Blue Chip Casino/Stardust Event Center in Michigan City at 12 p.m.
- Jan. 9 – Avalon Manor in Merrillville at 12 p.m.
- Jan. 10 – The Trails in Lafayette at 5:30 p.m.
- Jan. 11 – Kokomo Event & Conference Center in Kokomo at 5:30 p.m.
- Jan. 12 – Honeywell Center in Wabash at 5:30 p.m.
- Jan. 16 – Ceruti's in Fort Wayne at 5:30 p.m.
- Jan. 17 – IdleCreek Banquet Center in Terre Haute at 5:30 p.m.
- Jan. 18 – Beef House in Covington at 5:30 p.m.
- Jan. 19 – Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds in Danville at 5:30 p.m.
- Jan. 23 – Fort Harrison State Park Conf. Center in Indianapolis at 12 p.m.
- Jan. 24 – Huber's Winery in Starlight at 5:30 p.m.
- Jan. 25 – Batesville Knights of Columbus in Batesville at 5:30 p.m.
- Jan. 26 – Wayne County Fairgrounds in Richmond at 5:30 p.m.
- Jan. 30 – Delaware County Fairgrounds Heartland Hall in Muncie at 5:30 p.m.
- Jan. 31 – Huntingburg Event Center in Huntingburg at 6:30 p.m.
- Feb. 1 – Bloomington Event Center in Bloomington at 5:30 p.m.
- Feb. 2 – Gasthof Amish Village in Montgomery at 5:30 p.m.
- Feb. 6 – Vanderburgh 4-H Center in Evansville at 5:30 p.m.
Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission Promotes Safety through PSAs
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) is promoting the 811 message through two public service announcements (PSAs) that encourage homeowners and contractors alike to contact 811 or visit 811Now.com prior to digging projects, such as planting a tree, in order to have underground utility lines marked. Check out the PSAs, which are airing on TV stations throughout Indiana, by clicking the images below.