When a large pipeline has a spill or major well blowout strikes, Alberta needs on-the-go response tools. The AER’s mobile incident command (MIC) trailer is one of the tools we use to ensure energy incidents are managed properly.
The 28-foot-long trailer is more than just a branded office space on wheels. It allows AER staff to be on site during an emergency, and it acts as a first point of contact for Government of Alberta response staff as well as for the media.
Using the best technology available is essential to ensure the safe, efficient, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of hydrocarbon resources.
Some things to know about the MIC trailer:
- In good hands. The command trailer is used by the AER’s Field Incident Response Support Team (FIRST), experts in their field. The MIC gives the response team the independence needed to assess a company’s actions during an incident and supports the AER in protecting the public and the environment. The trailer was fully outfitted in 2014 and has made the AER more effective at incident response.
- When the going gets tough. While AER staff respond to incidents of all sizes, the MIC only responds to major incidents. During smaller ones, AER responders can use other leading technologies, such as our two air monitoring units.
- Inspector Gadget. Key features of the MIC trailer include a utility terrain vehicle for on-site travel, a network that supports up to 32 wireless computers and a cell phone booster, conference-call capability for the desk phone, dedicated cell phones, air conditioning and heating, and an office space that is fully outfitted for on-site meetings.
- Eye in the sky. The MIC also packs air power. A drone allows the FIRST team to get a birds-eye view of a spill site—especially useful in difficult-to-reach regions—and limit any environmental impacts of driving or walking into such areas. And it can be done more safely and inexpensively than by contracting a helicopter.
- Ready in a jiff. MIC can be set up quickly, in about ten minutes. This helps to ensure a timely response by FIRST.