“We Dig Schools” Program Launched

August 2012, Vol. 67 No. 8

Ditch Witch of Oklahoma recently teamed with Chesapeake Midstream Partners and Call Okie to create “We Dig Schools,” an educational program that teaches elementary students the importance of pipeline safety and calling 811 before digging to avoid utility service interruption and injury.

The 1 ½-hour program teaches students about the science of line locating, what types of cables and pipelines are typically buried underground, how to identify a pipeline leak by using their senses, and how to interpret a pipeline marker.

Students also receive a hands-on experience through supervised exploration of emergency vehicles and a Ditch Witch SK650 compact tool carrier, which can be used in a variety of utility installation projects. “We Dig Schools” program participants also received a visit from Okie, the Call Okie gopher mascot.

During the months of March and April 2012, the “We Dig Schools” team traveled to four schools around Oklahoma: KIPP Tulsa, Waynoka Elementary School in Waynoka, Horace Mann Elementary School in Oklahoma City, and West Elementary School in Weatherford.

“It’s never too early to educate people about the importance of calling 811 before they dig anywhere, whether they’re installing a pipeline or planting a tree,” says Megan Lamerton of Ditch Witch Oklahoma. “This program has the right balance of fun and education to convey a message that these kids will take to heart.”

Call Okie—Oklahoma One-Call System Inc.—is a non-profit safety and damage-prevention program designed to promote public awareness and provide a communication link between excavators and operators of underground facilities.

Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Midstream Partners is a limited partnership formed by Chesapeake Energy Corporation and Global Infrastructure Partners to own, operate, develop and acquire midstream energy assets in the United States.

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