BC 1 Call is thankful for all those who continue to push our safety message on the importance of contacting BC 1 Call before breaking ground. As damage prevention is a shared responsibility, we always appreciate any effort to help promote awareness and use of BC 1 Call.

Today, we’d like to give special thanks to FortisBC, who has long been an amazing leader in safety and damage prevention. Each year, dedicated FortisBC team members sponsor educational opportunities, promote BC 1 Call and safe digging practices at community events around the province, and help raise awareness of BC 1 Call through advertisements, multi-stakeholder promotions, its website, social media and news media outreach. We could not ask for a better partner.

BC 1 Call recently had the privilege of speaking with a passionate safety champion from FortisBC, Michelle Petrusevich, to get insights on her perspectives of over a decade in the trenches working our shared prevention responsibility.

Michelle has been with FortisBC for 16 years and worked in various roles. In 2010 she started as a Public Safety Manager, a dedicated position FortisBC created at the time. This role focused on the promotion of damage prevention and energy safety, and on strengthening the relationship between FortisBC and BC 1 Call.

“For FortisBC, safety is a top priority and is ingrained in everything we do,” Michelle said. “It is one of our core values and is very important to us. We have over one million customers who rely on the energy we provide. It needs to be both safe and reliable. A big part of that is limiting the number of avoidable damage incidents to our infrastructure that can result in personal injury and service disruption.”

Michelle took her role very seriously and was in as many places as possible, reaching as many people as possible, and always sharing the BC 1 Call message as she went.

“Damage prevention is absolutely fundamental,” explained Michelle. “BC 1 Call is the centre that people look to in order to get information from its members regarding the location of underground utilities, so, it makes sense for us to be aligned and part of it, and for us to work closely together.”

She also spoke about the importance of everyone working together around the goal of safety, and the hard-working individuals across various departments at FortisBC that work on this objective daily.

“The key is teamwork,” Michelle said. “It takes a team to make sure everything is safe.”

Michelle was awarded the 2021 Outstanding Achievement Award by the Canadian Society of Safety Engineers. The award was given for her contributions to lowering the number of line hits to FortisBC’s natural gas infrastructure. We here at BC 1 Call were thrilled to congratulate her on this well-deserved recognition.

The BC 1 Call team extends a huge thank you to Michelle for her years of dedication and collaboration. We look forward to working with her successor, Tanya Kowalenko, as Michelle moves into a new role.

To learn more about FortisBC’s safety promotion efforts, check out their website here.

As Michelle stated, “Safety is a joint effort. If you, as an excavator, remember to contact BC 1 Call before you dig, you’ve done your part.”  For members and partners, it includes doing what you can to help promote awareness and use of BC 1 Call. Together, we can help keep our communities safe.

Please see our content package for ways that you can become a BC 1 Call champion, and better profile your commitment to safety and damage prevention.