December 2015
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INPAA to Host Emergency Responder Trainings
Beginning next month, the Indiana Pipeline Awareness Association (INPAA) will hold trainings for emergency service professionals to hone their skills and knowledge about pipeline safety. The two-hour trainings offer a convenient option for busy schedules and allow emergency response professionals to earn two CEU credits. Meetings will take place on weekdays in January and February and are organized by county clusters. Click here to view a map to find the training location closest to you, and click here to view the full 2016 training schedule and to register today. Contact Mary Patricia Kindt at mpkindt@inpaa.org, or visit www.inpaa.org for more information.


Firehouse Program Winner to Spread Safety Message Year-Round
Terre Haute Fire Department, which was the grand prize winner for the 2015 firehouse program sponsored by Vectren and NIPSCO, used the $1,000 award it received toward the installation of a new LED safety sign at its facility. Terre Haute Fire Department will now run safe digging reminders for the community on its sign year-round. Check out photos of the new sign, which is located at 9th and Ohio streets in Terre Haute, below. Indiana 811, Vectren and NIPSCO will once again hold the firehouse program in 2016, which asks fire stations across the state to show support for National Safe Digging Month by displaying safety messages outside their facilities in April.


Vectren Promotes Safe Digging at Peden Family Farm Festival
The Bloomington operations group at Vectren coordinated an interactive booth at the annual Peden Family Farm Festival, which took place Sept. 29-30, 2015 outside of Ellettsville, Ind. The Pedens have hosted the farm festival for school-age children for more than 50 years. There is no admission fee for the more than 3,000 children from Green, Monroe and Morgan counties who are invited to attend. The Purdue Extension director works with local schools to invite kindergarten through third graders. More than 200 volunteers are needed to run the festival.
 
The children enjoyed visiting various stations throughout the day, including the Vectren/811 booth, where they had the opportunity to learn about "Call Before You Dig," get quizzed on the 811 number, and practice hand digging for “gas lines” with Vectren employees. Holey Moley was also in attendance and was a big hit with everyone.
 
The festival may be planned for children, but the adult volunteers have a great time as well. The Bloomington employees working the two-day festival included Dave Combs, Tyler DePriest, Clint Fishel, Jerry Meadows, Alisha Mobley, Jeremy Myers, Randa Powers, Matt Raines, Don Ritter, Jeff Smith, Ariel Thomas and Chad Walker.
 
– Contributed by Vectren


Third Annual Midwest Damage Prevention Training Conference Draws Industry Professionals from Across the Region
The 2015 Midwest Damage Prevention Training Conference (MWDPTC), hosted by title sponsors Indiana 811 and Kentucky 811, was held Nov. 11-13 at the French Lick Resort in French Lick, Ind., and was a huge success. The third annual event drew 350 attendees for three days of networking and damage prevention education.
 
Indiana 811 and Kentucky 811 were joined by 34 other sponsors and 40 vendors from across the country. The conference kicked off with a welcome reception, as well as a turkey shoot at Lost River Game Farm in nearby Paoli, Ind. Other highlights of the 2015 MWDPTC included a compelling speech by keynote speaker Tony Crow, who always kept safety top-of-mind at his job at TXU, a utility company in Texas, but became blind for life when he was shot in a hunting accident. Attendees also had the opportunity to participate in 14 different educational sessions focused on damage prevention best practices, law and workplace safety for industry professionals.
 
Save the date! The fourth annual Midwest Damage Prevention Training Conference will take place Nov. 16-18, 2016 at the French Lick Resort. Visit www.midwest811conference.com in February for more information about the 2016 MWDPTC.


Damage Prevention Roundtable Filmed at 2015 MWDPTC
I always enjoyed the TV show “The Sportswriters,” which ran for about 15 years in the Chicago market and was later syndicated to other parts of the country. Three sportswriters sat around an illuminated circular table in a dark room and talked about the Cubs, Bulls, Bears, Sox, Blackhawks and anything else that came to their minds. There was no agenda, no script, and it was always entertaining.
 
In December of 2013, Digging Dangers Videos resurrected the “Sportswriters” format and applied it to damage prevention. The Roundtable features three people from the industry offering up their ideas and commentary regarding past, current and future damage prevention initiatives. The conversation begins with a single question from an off-camera moderator. After that, it’s like any other conversation among three knowledgeable and passionate people.
 
The Roundtable is filmed each December in Manteno, Ill. But this November, an all-Indiana conversation was filmed at the MWDPTC in French Lick. An original Roundtable participant, Chuck Muller of Indiana 811, organized the conversation featuring utility, excavating and regulatory points of view.
 
If you are part of the industry, you’ll enjoy watching The Roundtable. The conversation is relevant to what you do and will hopefully influence – if not challenge – your belief system regarding damage prevention. Stay tuned for more information on where to watch The Roundtable from the conference in the next edition of The Dirt.
 
– Contributed by Mike Parilac, Staking University

 

 
 
 
 
 
   
   
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