A 30-foot-high shovel will be displayed at a Woodland Hills fire station Friday as part of a campaign urging residents to dial 811 before doing any digging so authorities can ensure there are no underground utility lines at risk of being damaged.
The event organized by Southern California Gas Co. and the Los Angeles Fire Department will be held in recognition of National 811 Day. Calling 811 alerts utility companies to upcoming digging projects, allowing them to send representatives to the area to mark the location of underground lines.
The 30-foot-tall shovel, billed as one of the biggest in the country, will be displayed at an LAFD station and at various other locations in the coming weeks to spread awareness of the 811 hotline.
Officials from the LAFD and Gas Co. will be speaking at a late-morning news conference at the fire station. They’ll be joined by two Gas Co. employees who were recently honored for helping to save the lives of a Woodland Hills couple whose home exploded due to a gas line that had been ruptured by a plumber who had done some work at the home, according to SoCalGas.
Jeff Catton, a Gas Co. energy technician, and Hector Rocha, a SoCalGas customer service rep, were honored last month by county Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Sheila Kuehl for their actions getting the couple out of the house after they reported a possible gas leak on June 20. The couple’s home in the 4900 block of Marmol Drive exploded in flames a short time later.
—City News Service
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