Q4 Newsletter

Volume V Issue IV
December 2017
Message from ERAC President,  
Spencer Buckland 
 Alberta Firefighting Training - November 2017   
It's hard to believe 2017 is almost at an end - and what a year it's been. Emergency Response Assistance Canada successfully held 26 regional training events, ensuring our valued response teams are trained, assessed and approved on behalf of our Plan Participants.  
We also held two full-scale rail emergency exercises and four firefighting training events. On top of that, our response teams have attended 27 incidents across the country.  
And all while maintaining a zero-injury status during our more than 30 years of operations. 
In This Issue

Goodbye and thank you to RMAs Peter Van Immerzeel of Williams Lake, B.C. and Curtis Robinson of Parksville, B.C.

We welcome Wedded Sakhri as support to ERAC as a French translator. Wedded will assist with translation of policies, procedures, online training modules and other ERAC documentation. She has more than 15 years of French translation experience and is an associate member of the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Alberta (ATIA).

Kristopher Niewinski has also joined ERAC as an Emergency Management Advisor. Kristopher will assist with developing comprehensive emergency response plans, develop drills and exercises, and provide significant expertise with GIS mapping and modelling. Kristopher comes to us with a doctorate in ecology, a Master of Science in Forestry, and over 20 years' experience in the energy and environment sectors.
Training & events
The 2017 regional training and assessments are all completed. The feedback we received in the debriefings this year helps with planning the following year's regionals. Most of the 2018 regionals have already been scheduled; please refer to the list below. The most up-to-date schedule is always available on .
Flammable Liquids
  • March 13 & 14, 2018 - QM Environmental - Richmond, B.C.
  • April 10-12, 2018 - QM Environmental - Stoney Creek, Ont.
  • April 18, 2018 - GFL Environmental - Thunder Bay, Ont.
  • May 8 & 9 - Iron Horse - Rockyview, Alta.
  • May 29-31, 2018 - RST Industries - Saint John, N.B.
  • Oct. 10 & 11, 2018 - Euroway Industrial Services - Winnipeg, Man.
  • Oct. 17 & 18 - GFL Environmental - Saskatoon, Sask. 
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)
  • April 4 & 5, 2018 - Sutherland - Miramichi, N.B.
  • April 10-12, 2018 - QM Environmental - Stoney Creek, Ont.
  • April 11 & 12, 2018 - M&M Propane - Saguenay, Que.
  • April 25 & 26, 2018 - B.C. South Response Team - TBD
  • May 29-31, 2018 - RST Industries - Saint John, N.B.
  • June 20 & 21, 2018 - Keyera - Edmonton, Alta.
  • Sept. 12 & 13, 2018 - Ontario Central - Barrie, Ont.
  • Sept. 26 & 27, 2018 - B.C. North Response Team - Taylor, B.C.
  • Oct. 2 & 3, 2018 - Plains Midstream Canada - Regina, Sask.
  • Oct. 10 & 11, 2018 - Euroway Industrial Services - Winnipeg, Man.
2017 Regionals update
Don Merriam, Operations Manager
Lee Nelson, Technical Advisor  

2017 saw ERAC staff busy across the country assessing and training all our partner response teams.  

During assessments, ERAC technical advisors are looking to see if a team works safely and proficiently, as well as monitoring the performance of the transfer equipment. We monitor flow rates of equipment and transfer times so that ERAC can predict field transloading times to an authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) or carrier. We have minimum standards, requested though our Operations Committee based on stakeholders needs.  Read more
Update on SafetySync training
Cheryl Dahlager, Process Services Manager

It has come to our attention that some of our responders are having problems viewing courses in ERAC's LMS, SafetySync, if they are using Microsoft's new browser, Edge. To ensure SafetySync is working properly we recommend using either Chrome or Firefox as your default browser. This will help SafetySync operate at maximum performance. Please feel free to contact us if you are having issues with your browser. 
Effective January 1, 2018, ICS 200 will become mandatory for Technical Advisors, Remedial Measures Advisors, Response Team Leads and Alternate Team Leads. This requirement is mandated by Transport Canada.  Read more
Staying a step ahead with training
Louis-Philippe Ethier, Technical Advisor      

You might be called to a variety of emergency incidents that require numerous skills to handle them safely and effectively. Some organizations will go a step further by putting a team together to handle low-frequency, high risk incidents, such as dangerous goods releases and fires, due to their unique nature.

For this reason, emergency response team training must be frequent, continuous and habit forming, with a strong focus on the fundamentals. The team should conduct daily drills to build skills for stretching, advancing and hazmat response, including fire. Training can be simple; it does not have to be elaborate to be effective.  Read more   
Operating in or through B.C.?

In October 2017, the British Columbia Ministry of Environment & Climat e Change Strategy released a new set of regulations on spill contingency planning, including:
  • Spill contingency plans
  • Drills and exercises
  • Spill response actions
  • Spill reporting requirements
Lessons learned

Near miss - Failure to operate BOV properly
A response team was preparing to transfer flammable liquids from one railcar to another through a closed-loop system. The team operated the valve but did not fully open the handle and pin it in the 180-degree position, which caused the pump to overheat. Emergency Response Assistance Canada (ERAC) has developed a technical guide on the different types of railcar bottom outlet valve assemblies, as well as updated our flammable liquids closed-loop transfer procedure to include the use of a pressure gauge on the discharge side of the transfer system and the use of site glass or flow meter.  View the full-text of the safety bulletin 
Safety bulletin - Valve creep 
An LPG team responded to a packing gland leak on a tank car liquid line and experienced valve creep during their assessment. Subsequently the tank car was off-loaded and flared down by the team, and the car was sent to shop to replace the valve. The American Association of Railroads (AAR) has released a maintenance advisory related to a Midland Manufacturing service bulletin.  View the full-text of the safety bulletin 
If you have any questions, please contact Patrick Knight, Safety and Quality Manager, 403-543-6501. 
In the field: digital kudos
Recently, ERAC responders attended to a truck rollover near Schreiber, Ont. Once all was said and done, the Schreiber Fire Department took to Twitter to thank ERAC.
It is only through the partnerships with our Plan Participants, response teams and other organizations that we can do what we do - thank you for all your support of ERAC and our activities.
ERAC key performance indicators (KPIs)