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April 7, 2004 - Sask. 1st Call celebrates a Saskatchewan Milestone


April 7, 2004

Sask. 1st Call celebrates a Saskatchewan Milestone

Sask. 1st Call, Saskatchewan's underground facility location screening and notification service, today celebrated a milestone. Through its 17 members, Sask. First Call now represents a quarter million kilometres of buried infrastructure across Saskatchewan, all of which can now be accessed by a single, toll-free number.


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SaskEnergy, its pipeline transmission company TransGas, and other members of the pipeline community celebrated this milestone by welcoming SaskTel to Sask. 1st Call - the first member of the organization outside the oil and gas industry. SaskTel brings to Sask. 1st Call the largest underground network in Saskatchewan. With the addition of SaskTel to the service, it's estimated Sask. 1st Call will process more than 55,000 line locate inquiries annually.

"I want to recognize these Saskatchewan pipeline companies for working to make our communities safer, by taking the lead in the creation of Sask. 1st Call," Minister Responsible for SaskEnergy Harry Van Mulligen said. "SaskEnergy, TransGas, members from the pipeline community, and now SaskTel are part of a vital service which improves safety for contractors, homeowners and landowners during the digging season, while protecting companies with underground facilities."

"SaskTel is pleased to become the newest member of Sask. 1st Call," said Diana Milenkovic, SaskTel Senior Vice-President, Customer Services Operations and Mobility. "The one call service provides convenience for individuals seeking to locate underground facilities, while at the same time helping to ensure the safety of those individuals and protecting the integrity of our services for SaskTel customers."

Sask. 1st Call began operation in January 2003, by providing a service to member companies to make it easier and more convenient for contractors and homeowners to call to have underground lines marked before they begin digging.

"Contractors rely on the Sask. 1st Call service because they don't know whose facilities are out there," said Victor Standish from ConocoPhillips. "One-Call organizations have existed in other parts of Canada and the United States for years, so I'm pleased to see we could come up with a Saskatchewan solution to improving safety in the field."

A call to the Sask. 1st Call toll-free number will connect you to a trained and experienced Customer Service Representative (CSR) who will take all the pertinent information concerning the proposed excavation and enter it into the screening database. The software will then determine which of the member companies have underground facilities at that location.

The member companies will then be automatically notified by the system that a line locate is required. Each company is then responsible to mark its lines as usual.

"For the past 20 years, the Contractor Safety Awareness Association (CSAA) has been actively promoting 'Call before You Dig'. The CSAA applauds the continued growth of our provincial first call center, Sask. 1st Call. Making your first call, Sask. 1st Call, is a critical step in safe soil disturbance and ultimately public safety," said Beverley Graham, representative from the Contractor Safety Awareness Association.

There is no charge to customers calling Sask. 1st Call at 1-866-828-4888.

For more information, please contact:

Dave Burdeniuk
Manager, Communications
SaskEnergy/TransGas
Phone:  (306) 777-9842
Paul Spasoff
Corporate Affairs Director
SaskTel
Phone:  (306) 777-5638
Vic Standish
ConocoPhillips
Regina
Phone:  (306) 522-4886
Beverley Graham
Contractor Safety Awareness Association
Regina
Phone:  (306) 352-1260
Richard Thiele
Cochin Pipe Lines Ltd.
Regina
Phone:  (306) 949-0557
Kevin Hatfield
Enbridge Pipelines (Sask.) Inc.
Estevan
Phone:  (306) 636-7229