Emergency Response

Our emergency procedures are designed to respond to incidents quickly and professionally. Our comprehensive procedures underscore our priorities for the safety of all people, protection of the environment, integrity of our assets and preservation of our reputation. As part of our robust emergency response plan, field employees are trained using the same management system used by emergency responders from FEMA to firefighters.

The National Incident Management System (NIMS) provides situational awareness and standardizes the flow of information, which expedites the emergency response and creates a smoother reaction overall. While many companies train their employees in NIMS level 100, Chesapeake takes extra precautions. Every field employee is also trained in NIMS level 200 and to the operations level of Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response. This additional training at higher NIMS levels ensures field employees and corporate management teams have a clear understanding of their related duties, tasks and responsibilities, and are able to effectively communicate with emergency response personnel if necessary.

The emergency response team prepares for possible incidents by:

  1. Utilizing risk identification tools to identify sensitive sites/areas
  2. Developing tactical response plans
  3. Performing tabletop exercises
  4. Conducting drills

Though rare emergencies can occur, Chesapeake has an established emergency response plan, and our operations personnel are prepared to respond and manage an emergency should one arise. We work closely with local emergency responders to provide education about our operations and how to respond in the unlikely event of an emergency.

If an emergency occurs, our personnel will respond immediately and:

  • Locate the emergency site and stop or reduce flow of the product to the area
  • Work with the appropriate public safety officials and first responders
  • Repair the facility and restore service as soon as possible
  • Fully investigate the cause of the incident to prevent similar events from recurring

Working with Emergency Responders

During an emergency, the actions taken by emergency responders are critical to protecting lives, property and the environment. Some examples of emergency response agencies include fire departments, law enforcement, public safety and emergency planning and management. As a responder to an emergency situation, you should:

  1. Assess the situation
    • Identify the pipeline type and product
    • Safety considerations
    • Exposures and environmental conditions
    • Potential for the situation to escalate
    • Determine the wind direction and approach with caution
    • Eliminate all ignition sources
  2. Protect people
    • Evacuate or shelter the location to isolate the public
    • Secure the area and deny entry to unauthorized personnel
  3. Work with the pipeline operator
    • Notify the pipeline operator
    • Relate as much information as possible to the operator
    • Allow only trained pipeline personnel to close valves
  4. Control the release
    • If there is a leak
      • Contact the operator BEFORE taking action
      • Be conscious of flammability and toxicity hazards
    • If gas vapor is present
      • Do NOT ignite the vapor cloud
      • Be aware of structures that are ventilated by force
    • If there is a fire
      • Let the primary fire burn
      • Wait for the pipeline operator to shut off the flow of gas
      • Address any secondary areas of concern