Category Archives: 811

Lisa O'Leary Call 811 Goes For Three-Peat Victory at Preakness Stakes

Photo Credit: The Washington Post

Photo Credit: The Washington Post

For the third consecutive year, a Call 811 sponsored jockey crossed the finish line first at the Preakness Stakes horserace. On Saturday, winning jockey Kent Desormeaux sported the bold “Call 811” logo and phone number on his riding pants and boots, as well as the ball cap he wore before and after the race. According to Nielsen ratings, more than 9.4 million people tuned in and saw the “Call Before You Dig” messaging as Kent rode horse Exaggerator to victory at the second leg of the Triple Crown series.

exaggerator action shot 3

Photo Credit; USA North 811

Members of the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), an organization dedicated to educating professionals and homeowners about the importance of safe digging procedures, helped secure the partnership, including Dig Alert of Southern California, Dig Safely New York, Kentucky 811 and USA North 811. In both 2014 and 2015, jockey Victor Espinoza was wearing 811 gear when he won the Preakness Stakes. Last year was especially special, as Espinoza went on to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1973.

A call to 811, which should be done a few days before beginning construction projects, planting or undertaking any kind of digging activity, connects callers to their local One Call Center which gathers information about the project and alerts your local utility company. Crews then locate the utility lines near the planned project and make sure they are properly marked so you can be sure to avoid them. The process is fast, simple and free, and prevents excavation damage – the number one cause of pipeline incidents in the United States.

To learn more about Call 811 visit http://commongroundalliance.com/. If you are a utility and have a unique and interesting way you’re promoting Call 811, let us know in the comments section below or email loleary@aga.org.

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Lisa O'Leary ‘Call 811 Before You Dig’ Sets Sights on Third Straight Kentucky Derby Win

Photo Credit: USA North 811

Photo Credit: USA North 811

Following two successful years partnering with Kentucky Derby winning jockey Victor Espinoza in 2014 and 2015, the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) is teaming up with jockey Junior Alvarado to promote Call 811 in this year’s first leg of the Triple Crown.

Four members of CGA, an organization dedicated to educating professionals and homeowners about the importance of following safe digging procedures, are the official sponsors of Alvarado. Thanks to USA North 811, Dig Alert, Dig Safely New York and Kentucky 811, one of the favorites to win the Kentucky Derby next month will be wearing the bold “Call 811” logo on his jockey pants and riding boots in front of millions of television viewers and more than 100,000 in attendance at the track.

“Junior is a young, talented jockey and we are happy to partner with him this year in an attempt to win a third straight Derby for Call 811,” said Ryan White, General Manager of USA North 811 – the 811 notification center serving Northern California and Nevada.

A call to 811, which should be done a few days before beginning all digging project big or small, connects you to a local One Call Center which gathers information about the project and alerts your local utility company. Crews then locate the utility lines near the planned project and make sure they are properly marked so you can be sure to avoid them. The process is fast, simple and free.

AGA looks forward to cheering Alvarado to victory on May 7 during the Kentucky Derby. Let us know how your utility plans on promoting Call 811 during National Safe Digging Month in the comments section below or by emailing Jackie Bavaro at jbavaro@aga.org. We’ll share your stories on AGA’s social media pages and blog.

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Lisa O'Leary National Safe Digging Month Begins

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Image Courtesy Common Ground Alliance

This April marks the ninth annual National Safe Digging Month (NSDM), an initiative put in place by the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) to raise awareness about safe digging practices and the importance of calling 811 to prevent accidents, property damage and outages.

Before you embark on any excavation project big or small, be sure to dial 811 to be connected to your local One Call Center which will gather information and alert your local utility company. Crews will then locate the utility lines near your planned project and make sure they are properly marked so you can be sure to avoid them. Both the call and the service are fast, simple and free.

Construction and digging damage is the leading cause of pipeline incidents across the country, most of which can be prevented if proper protocol is followed. Thanks in large part to the work being done by CGA and AGA-member natural gas utilities to promote “Call 811,” excavation damages for all underground facilities have drastically decreased by approximately 50 percent since 2004.

Throughout this month, AGA will be highlighting the creative ways local natural gas utilities are educating the public about this crucial, and potentially life-saving, program on Twitter, Facebook and the True Blue Natural Gas blog. Let us know what your utility has planned by posting below or emailing Jackie Bavaro at jbavaro@aga.org.

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Lisa O'Leary AGA Members Draw Awareness to Safe Digging on 811 Day

On August 11, the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) once again commemorated National 811 Day to promote safe digging practices and the Call Before You Dig campaign. No matter the type and size of digging project – from installing a mailbox to building a patio or deck, it is always critical  to call 811 several days prior to digging to identify the approximate location of underground utility lines, including natural gas. Excavation damage continues to be the leading cause of natural gas pipeline incidents across the country, though improvements are being made thanks to the education and outreach by CGA, local natural gas utilities and other stakeholders.

Each year on 811 Day, the American Gas Association’s (AGA’s) member companies work to educate their customers and the communities they serve about the importance of calling 811 before digging. The following highlights showcase many of the activities AGA’s members and partners participated in to help raise awareness about calling 811:

Image Credit: PHMSA

Image Credit: PHMSA

Throughout the month of July, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) took over the Navy Yard/Nationals Park Metro station in Washington, D.C. with 811 banners, posters and other signage.

Image Courtesy of CGA

Image Courtesy of CGA

On August 6, DOT and PMSA hosted a pre-baseball game event at the Washington Nationals’ stadium with Deputy Secretary of Transportation Victor Mendez and this year’s winner of Energy Safe Kids’ annual 811 poster contest. Safe digging procedures and Call 811 were promoted during all five baseball games prior to August 11, most notably on a banner directly behind home plate.

Image Credit: CenterPoint Energy

Image Credit: CenterPoint Energy

CenterPoint Energy in Houston, TX hosted a downtown block party complete with food and prizes, while the utility’s Minnesota branch teamed up with marking companies for the annual 811 5k Run/Walk followed by a kids fun run, awards ceremony, prizes and safety fair. All proceeds from the 5k benefitted Operation Warm, an organization that provides warm winter coats to children in need.

Image Credit: CGA

Image Credit: AGA

Pacific Gas & Electric, along with CGA and other stakeholders, had the honor of ringing the New York Stock Exchange closing bell in front of a large Call 811 banner on 8/11. Click here to watch the archived video from the event.

columbia gas 811 cake

Image Credit: Columbia Gas of PA

Things got a little wild at the Washington Wild Things baseball game on 8/11 thanks to Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania. Tickets were just $8.11 and Digger Dog threw out the first pitch.  In addition to the game, Columbia Gas distributed special 811-themed cakes  to local radio stations to help drive awareness during the morning commute and online.

Image Credit: Victor Espinoza/Twitter

Image Credit: Victor Espinoza/Twitter

Call 811-sponsored jockey and Triple Crown winner Victor Espinoza once again took to his Twitter page to remind customers to call 811 before beginning any digging projects, big or small.

In addition to 811 Day, the month of April is National Safe Digging Month (NSDM). As part of their ongoing commitment to safety, AGA member companies air PSAs and TV spots, host events and contests, and carry out social media campaigns to promote safe digging. If you are a natural gas utility, let us know about future Call 811 activities in the comments section below. We’d love to hear what your utility has in the works and to share your activities on AGA’s social media pages and blog. You can also email loleary@aga.org.

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