Engineering Excellence in Utility Undergrounding

July 14-16, 2020  | Chicago, IL or Virtual Option

 For registration details and multiple attendee discounts, please contact:

Jeremy Wise

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Prior to the Engineering Excellence in Utility Undergrounding Conference, we held an exclusive interview with one of our workshop leaders, Captain Chris Greene. Chris serves as the Energy Response Team Supervisor at Seattle Fire Station 25.

You have developed a significant program in Seattle, known as the Seattle Fire Department’s Energy Response Team. Can you tell us a little bit about how and why this program was developed and initiated?

The program was developed in response to a series of energy events in Seattle that went badly.  There were massive gaps in understanding these incidents and how to safely identify mitigation opportunities.  There were 4 main issues that we needed to resolve: 
•What did Seattle City Light want from the Fire Department during these emergencies?
•Seattle Fire Department needed
 the training to create a better risk analysis for this hazard
•Scripted responses needed to be developed
•Seattle Fire and Seattle City light needed to create a specialized team to oversee this body of work for perpetuity. 

This is what lead to the creation of the Energy Response Team

What problem has the Energy Response Team solved (or is trying to solve) for Seattle’s home utility?

We are able to quickly identify and control vault and manhole fires.  This keeps damage to a minimum and reduces both the cost of the damaged equipment and reduce the service downtime.  The SFD deployment model is quick and effective.  The key to its success has been the strong relationship between Seattle City Light and Seattle Fire.  The Energy Response Team owns this body of work and trains daily to ensure we are always prepared.

You are facilitating a 2-hour workshop at the event, what do you hope attendees will learn and take away from your presentation?

The course offers lessons on the following:
•How to quickly identify and energy emergency before you commit your resources
•Tactics necessary to ensure the safety of your crews
•Arc Flash and Shock Hazards
•Where these hazards are likely to be present
•Personal Protective Equipment needed for safe operations
•Street level insight and best practices for dealing with energy emergencies.
•The need for Energy and Fire Departments to get on the same page now, before the next incident.

What do you predict for the future of the Energy Response Team?

Seattle’s Energy Response Team is currently the only technical team of its kind in the nation.  However, that is changing rapidly.  I have made our team available to both Energy and Fire across the country to assist these agencies in creating manageable energy response curriculums work.  We are currently teaching 30+ courses each year.  There is no charge to attend any of our courses.  It is a responsibility that we take very seriously, and we consider it our duty to share the lessons we have learned with both National Energy workers and First Responders.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself, outside of your professional career.

I spent a few years on the road in a traveling rock band in my early 20’s.  This was a crazy time, but I learned to love traveling and sleeping in run-down hotels.


Captain Chris Greene will be Facilitating our First Workshop!

Pioneering an Energy Response Team through Innovative Leadership, Technical Training and Identifying Scope of Work

The Seattle Fire Department is recognized nationally for creating a technical team responsible for every energy incident in the city of Seattle. Captain Chris Greene has strategically developed a program that outlines operational safe guards and protocols to apply during an energy event. His mission is to decrease the gap in first responder training and awareness level to ensure all first responders react with knowledge