Utility Safety Partners: Looking Back on 40 Years of Progress

AS WE GEAR UP FOR THE 40TH Anniversary & Safety Conference of Utility Safety Partners, previously known as Albert One-Call Corporation, it is an opportune moment to glance back at the pivotal events and milestones that paved our journey. Our story began in the late 1970s, when the concept of One-Call Systems was gathering steam in the United States. Alberta, a province teeming with energy resources and economic growth, felt the need for a robust mechanism to protect the transmission of its precious assets and to ensure the safety of its communities, workers, and public.

The genesis of our organization traces back to a key moment in June 1977. John Fildes of the Canadian Western Natural Gas Company Limited (now ATCO), in a memo to his colleagues, voiced the urgency of setting up a “one call” notification system in Alberta. This call for action reverberated across the industry when the Alberta Energy Resources and Conservation Board expressed concerns about the mounting third-party damages to pipelines. Consequently, a dedicated committee was formed to assess the necessity and feasibility of a One-Call System.DPP -- Alberta 40th Pix 2

Reality underscored the importance of this system in March 1979 when an unfortunate propane pipeline rupture led to a fire and the evacuation of over 18,000 people in an Edmonton suburb. This tragic event served as a grim reminder of the potential hazards of unreported damages and the importance of preventative measures.

In response to this call for safety, the Alberta One-Call Location Corporation processed its first locate request in October 1984. The request was made by a Calgary plumbing contractor, Mr. Kent Hansen. From that first request, Utility Safety Partners, as we are known today, has processed over 10 million locate requests and expanded its reach to neighboring Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Reflecting on our legacy, we are excited about the path that lies ahead. We invite you to be a part of our continuing journey at our 40th Anniversary & Safety Conference, held at the breathtaking Fairmont Banff Springs from February 26-28, 2024. This momentous event will offer insightful educational sessions, diving deep into the realms of innovation, best practices, technology, legislation, public awareness, and training standards.

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We will honor the visionary leaders who sculpted our organization and cast an eye towards the future of energy and utility asset protection services. This event is an opportunity for us to celebrate our collective achievements, and to forge stronger connections as we move forward into the next phase of our journey.

As Utility Safety Partners, we continue to evolve, driven by our commitment to delivering unparalleled damage prevention services. We look forward to you joining us as we celebrate four decades of safety, service, and innovation, and to our collective strides towards a safer future. For more information, visit UtilitySafety.ca.

Mike Sullivan


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