PG&E joined Milpitas city agencies on Wednesday (Jan. 25) in an exercise to test emergency response and coordination plans.
The drill simulated an accident where a pickup truck collided with a PG&E natural gas pipeline control valve. Joining PG&E gas crews based in Santa Clara County were members of the Milpitas Fire Department, Milpitas Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Rural Metro Ambulance, Milpitas Emergency Services and Milpitas Public Works Department.
“These efforts are essential to the effective and efficient coordination between all the responding agencies to ensure the safety of their personnel and the public,” said Gerry Kohlmann, a PG&E senior public safety specialist.
The exercise allowed all parties to establish the appropriate Incident Company System (ICS) structure and implement a Unified Command among the many agencies involved.
Kohlmann added, “The exercise was a success because all parties understood their individual roles, utilized the ICS concepts and effectively communicated using established protocols implemented by the Incident Commander.”
The exercise include an assessment of the situation, treating two injured people, identifying the pipeline location and procedures for stopping the flow of gas, controlling traffic, setting up a care-and-shelter location and providing information to the public through the news media.
Since the San Bruno pipeline accident in Sept. 2010, PG&E has been working to improve its emergency-response plans.