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GAS EMERGENCIES

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Will Improve Emergency Response and Public Safety Collaboration
June 11, 2010
Hampton, N.H.

 

Unitil Corporation, a natural gas and electric delivery company with residential and business customers throughout New England, today announces it will conduct New Hampshire's first joint gas safety training seminar on June 15 - 16, 2010 at the company's live gas simulation facility in Portsmouth. The training seminars will educate Unitil employees and members of the Portsmouth Fire Department on efforts to properly handle a variety of gas-related incidents and better protect public safety during a gas emergency.

"Working with the Portsmouth Fire Department is essential to continually improve our emergency response capabilities," said Chris LeBlanc, gas operations director for Unitil. "We look forward to collaborating with other emergency response officials in other towns in our service territory to ensure the continued safe and efficient delivery of natural gas to customers in New Hampshire and Maine."

Each day a group of participants from both Unitil and the Portsmouth Fire Department will work side-by-side in the training. Morning classroom sessions will focus on a variety of safety and procedural topics including natural gas properties, static electricity, and protocols for handling blowing gas in an emergency among others. Afternoon sessions will simulate a live blowing gas environment during which the Unitil employees and fire fighters will work together to complete emergency response exercises in Unitil's state-of-the-art training facility.

During the scenarios, Unitil employees will utilize Level One and Two FR clothing and the most technologically advanced breathing apparatus available. The Flash Fire rated suits are custom fit and insulated to protect workers from the risk of ignition and heat intensity exposure in a gas blowing emergency; Level Two suits employ some of the highest insulation values available to date. The FR clothing also includes high visibility reflective strips to further increase worker safety. The company recently equipped all of its natural gas line workers with this state-of-the art equipment to ensure their safety.

Though not code mandated, Unitil's internal standards require the utility to conduct gas safety training twice each year to ensure the safety of its employees and customers. The upcoming sessions, provided to the Portsmouth Fire Department free of charge, are the first the company has offered externally. Unitil expects to introduce the program throughout its service areas in both New Hampshire and Maine starting with additional sessions later this year.

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About Unitil Corporation

Unitil Corporation provides energy for life by safely and reliably delivering natural gas and electricity in New England. We are committed to the communities we serve and to developing people, business practices, and technologies that lead to the delivery of dependable, more efficient energy. Unitil Corporation is a public utility holding company with operations in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Together, Unitil’s operating utilities serve approximately 104,300 electric customers and 79,900 natural gas customers. Other subsidiaries include Usource, Unitil’s non-regulated business segment. For more information about our people, technologies, and community involvement please visit www.unitil.com.

 


For more information please contact:
Alec O'Meara

Media Relations Manager
OMeara@unitil.com
Phone: 603-773-6404

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