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Put public safety first and remember to 'Call Before You Dig'

May 12, 2008

Put public safety first and remember to 'Call Before You Dig'

Contractors and homeowners across Saskatchewan are reminded to keep the safety of their communities top of mind now that the spring construction season is fully underway. A call to Sask 1st Call's "Call Before You Dig" toll-free number is an essential part of a safe excavation project, large or small. With one phone call, Saskatchewan excavators, contractors or homeowners who are planning to dig or excavate will be able to notify Sask 1st Call member companies of their plans, as landowners may not always be aware of the existence of underground facilities on their property.

Sask 1st Call has 25 members and 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 (editors visit www.sask1stcall.com for a complete list of the member companies). All member companies, including SaskEnergy, TransGas, SaskTel and other pipeline companies believe in the importance of increasing public safety, while reducing facility damage. Excavators must still obtain locates from other underground facility owners who are not currently subscribers with Sask 1st Call.

"Safety is our number one priority at SaskEnergy," says Doug Kelln, President and CEO of SaskEnergy. "We know our customers are also taking safety seriously, as last year alone, our technicians responded to more than 60,000 Sask 1st Call locate requests across Saskatchewan. There is always potential risk to an equipment operator, their neighbours or their community when digging near unmarked underground infrastructure. Our goal, shared by the other companies involved with Sask 1st Call, is to educate every person planning an excavation project this year on the importance of calling before they dig."

A call to Sask 1st Call's toll free number will connect the caller to a trained and experienced Sask 1st Call Customer Service Representative (CSR). 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. Sask 1st Call members require a minimum of 2 business days notice to locate their facilities.

In addition to the telephone service, Sask 1st Call now offers customers the option to request line locates through fax and website services at www.sask1stcall.com. These new services are designed to help streamline the large number of inquiries that take place between the peak months of April to September.

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