National Grid Recognizes UNY Local First Responders for Safety

(l. to r.) Mayor Michael Villa, Fire Chief Mike Whitty, Laurie Poltynski

This is an official press release.

AMSTERDAM, NY.— National Grid today recognized the Amsterdam Fire Department as the first in New York state to fully complete an online program to train first responders in natural gas emergencies.  All 33 members of the city’s department received certification from the company’s free, web-based First Responder Utility Safety program.

The program ( includes a series of interactive modules that offer emergency personnel information on how to safely identify and respond to incidents that involve natural gas pipelines and other natural gas facilities. The modules provide an overview of the natural gas system, including the properties of natural gas, protocols for responding to natural gas leaks and fires, carbon monoxide safety and more.  The company also has modules to help emergencies crews be safe when working around electric and liquid natural gas facilities.

“We are pleased the Amsterdam Fire Department has taken advantage of our online training courses.”img_2628 said Laurie Poltynski, National Grid Eastern Regional Executive.  “Having these free courses online and available for all first responders is a terrific way for us to help our partners get the necessary training they need to stay safe during emergencies.”

Chiefs from numerous local fire departments and local training academies assisted National Grid in creating the training. This includes a 12-member advisory panel of emergency responders from the three states — Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island — served by National Grid.

“Safety is our number one priority and every year we offer training materials to thousands of first responders across our service area and we partner with them in drills to test emergency response and coordinate plans,” said Ken Daly, president of National Grid New York. “This new state-of-the-art e-learning tool is an opportunity to train and prepare every firefighter across our service area, enhancing our ongoing efforts to ensure their safety and the safety of our customers. As the proud son of a retired New York City firefighter, I have seen firsthand the bravery that firefighters demonstrate in ensuring fire prevention and safety.”

The program received a “Best in Class” interactive media award from the Interactive Media Council in 2014, and also won the Northeast Gas Association’s Safety Award in 2015.

With the month of September being designated as National Preparedness Month, National Grid reminds all of its customers to prepare an emergency plan for their family that includes safe places to meet, methods of communicating, and how to set up text alerts from local emergency management officials.


About National Grid

National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity and natural gas delivery company that connects nearly 7 million customers to vital energy sources through its networks in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast. National Grid also operates the systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain.

Through its U.S. Connect21 strategy, National Grid is transforming its electricity and natural gas networks to support the 21st century digital economy with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions. Connect21 is vital to our communities’ long-term economic and environmental health and aligns with regulatory initiatives in New York (REV: Reforming the Energy Vision) andMassachusetts (Grid Modernization.)

For more information please visit our website:, or our Connecting website. You can also follow us on Twitter, watch us on You Tube, Friend us on Facebook and find our photos on Instagram.

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