The APGA Mutual Aid Program supplements the Iowa Mutual Aid System, allowing other utilities from around the country to help in Iowa when needed and allowing for Iowa utilities to help out in other areas of the country.
Participation in the program is voluntary, but APGA and IAMU encourage as many members as possible to sign the Mutual Aid Agreement form to create a robust and effective nationwide mutual aid program. If your utility has already signed the Iowa Mutual Aid Agreement, your utility must ALSO sign the APGA agreement to be able to participate in the national program. If your municipal natural gas system would like to participate, the Mutual Aid Agreement form needs to be signed by the designated point of contact for the program. The forms should then be mailed or faxed to APGA or scanned and emailed directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the event of an emergency, a utility can call for aid by sending a Request for Aid (RFA) form to APGA. APGA staff would identify potential matches based on what the system is requesting and then put the two (or more) systems in contact with each other. After the match has been made, the requesting and responding systems coordinate the logistics of the relief until completion.
The APGA Mutual Aid program was formally approved by the APGA Board of Directors in May 2019 and was developed with input from the APGA Operations & Safety Committee and APGA’s Mutual Aid Task Group, including IAMU. The program guidelines aim to allow as close to 100% participation from APGA members as possible.
The final agreement addresses concerns brought forward by APGA membership, including indemnification, workers compensation, and Operator Qualification.
- Indemnification - The APGA Mutual Aid Agreement states that the Requesting System indemnifies Responding Systems “to the full extent permitted by law, but without waiving and subject to all defenses including all constitutional, statutory and common law immunities and limits of liability, to release, indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Responding System...”
- Workers Compensation - The APGA Mutual Aid Agreement maintains that “At all times, employees of a Responding System continue to be employees of the Responding System and are not ever deemed to be employees of a Requesting System.” The agreement states that the Requesting System will compensate the Responding System’s employees’ “wages and salaries for paid time spent in Requesting System’s service area and paid time during travel to and from such service area, plus Responding System’s standard payable additives to cover all employee benefits and allowances.”
- Operator Qualification - The APGA Mutual Aid Agreement puts the onus on the Requesting System to ensure that those working on their system are Operator Qualified. It states that the “Requesting System must specify in their request for aid what tasks are covered tasks per 49 CFR 192 subpart N. The Requesting System receiving personnel pursuant is required to confirm that Responding Company personnel’s knowledge, skills and ability are consistent with Requesting Company’s needs.
If your municipal natural gas utility has any questions about the APGA Mutual Aid Program, contact APGA staff at (202) 464-2742 or by email at email@example.com or visit www.apga.org/mutual-aid.