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April 22, 2005 - Sask. 1st Call enhances safety for Saskatchewan residents

April 22, 2005

Sask. 1st Call enhances safety
for Saskatchewan residents

Contractors and homeowners across Saskatchewan are reminded that, as the spring construction season gets underway, a call to Sask. 1st Call is crucial in order to have underground lines marked before digging begins.

Sask. 1st Call, Saskatchewan's underground facility location screening and notification service, is entering its third full year of operation. Now expanded to 20 members, Sask. 1st Call represents more than a quarter million kilometres of buried infrastructure across Saskatchewan, all of which can now be accessed by a single, toll-free number. All member companies, ranging from the energy pipeline industry to the telecommunications sector (see attached list) believe in the importance of increasing public safety, while reducing facility damage.

"Sask 1st Call is a growing Saskatchewan success story in terms of both preventing infrastructure damage and protecting the public," Minister responsible for SaskEnergy and TransGas Harry Van Mulligen said. "One underground line hit is one too many, and greater public awareness of Sask 1st Call has helped provide more reliable natural gas service by reducing the number of pipeline contacts on the SaskEnergy/TransGas system."

In 2004, SaskTel joined Sask 1st Call, bringing with it the single largest underground network in Saskatchewan.

"SaskTel was pleased to join the Sask. 1st Call program as it provides individuals seeking to locate underground facilities with a convenient one-call service," Minister responsible for SaskTel Maynard Sonntag said. "SaskTel has approximately 160,000 km of underground facilities in the province and Sask. 1st Call allows the company to protect the integrity of services for all SaskTel customers while at the same time ensuring the safety of the public."

A call to the Sask. 1st Call toll-free number will connect you to a trained and experienced Customer Service Representative 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, and automatically send out a notification that a line locate is required.

During 2004 Sask 1st Call issued in excess of 97,000 notifications to its 20 member companies for line locates across the province. There is no charge to customers calling Sask. 1st Call at 1-866-828-4888.

For more information, contact:

Dave Burdeniuk
Phone: (306) 777-9842
Cell: (306) 535-6569
Michelle Englot
Phone: (306) 777-4476

Backgrounder - Sask. 1st Call Members