Molly Smith from Kinder Morgan Live @ GESC Demo Stage

Episode 179 May 24, 2024 00:18:34
Molly Smith from Kinder Morgan Live @ GESC Demo Stage
Coffee With Jim & James
Molly Smith from Kinder Morgan Live @ GESC Demo Stage

May 24 2024 | 00:18:34

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Hosted By

James Cross Jim Schauer

Show Notes

Join hosts James and Ashley as they engage with Molly Smith from Kinder Morgan at the lively Global Excavation Safety Conference. This episode offers a deep dive into the intricacies of excavation safety and damage prevention, showcasing Molly’s expertise and her role as the damage prevention supervisor. The discussion spans a variety of safety demonstrations, including the unique "boom box" demo, and delves into practical tips for handling natural gas and propane safely. Recorded live, the episode captures the dynamic and spontaneous interaction between the hosts and guests, making complex safety topics accessible and engaging for all listeners. 

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:20] Speaker A: This is free range. Molly. [00:00:22] Speaker B: Yeah. It's not approved. I just ask for forgiveness if somebody calls. [00:00:31] Speaker C: Not approved. [00:00:32] Speaker B: No, Molly is on the unapproved. [00:00:35] Speaker C: She is the one you'd call in advance to see if she's approved? [00:00:38] Speaker B: Yeah, I'm the one that. It's the. Where's the shovel? I'm that person. Yeah. [00:00:47] Speaker C: So we're live. [00:00:49] Speaker A: You're jumping straight in right now. [00:00:50] Speaker C: We do. We do. I'm not. Listen, I don't mess around here. I'm professional. Jim's not here, so we don't have all the distractions. Keep things professional. We're kidding. We miss Jimmy. We all do. [00:01:01] Speaker B: Yes. [00:01:02] Speaker C: A level of excitement. But we're excited today. So Molly and I had never met, and I think it even surprised you because we thought I was basically best friends. We knew we would be best friends, of course, but we've never crossed paths, but we knew we were here. And where did y'all see each other earlier? [00:01:21] Speaker B: Damage prevention summit. [00:01:23] Speaker A: Yeah. LA eight. [00:01:23] Speaker B: Batman. [00:01:24] Speaker C: LA 811. Yeah. And while there, did y'all. Y'all didn't have this out there? [00:01:30] Speaker A: No, we just knew. We had, like, anticipation that this day was coming. [00:01:34] Speaker B: Something was happening. They knew we were doing the demo. [00:01:37] Speaker C: I remember. Remember we were testing sound, and you walked by and I had to do. [00:01:42] Speaker B: My wave to you. [00:01:43] Speaker C: So, anyway, before we even could get back, I get excited and I'm gonna. I'm trying to be better as an activator. I'm not very good at that. So I sent an email, and I was like, molly, when you get back, we got it. We got to talk about. I call it the boombox. I think y'all should really think about that. [00:02:02] Speaker B: The boombox. [00:02:03] Speaker C: What's it really called, though? [00:02:04] Speaker B: So it's technically called the gas analysis safety demo. We call it the gas house or the firehouse demo because we set things on fire, so it's gonna float. [00:02:16] Speaker C: The boom box. [00:02:17] Speaker A: It's the boom box. [00:02:18] Speaker B: That is what we'll call it today. The boom box. [00:02:20] Speaker C: I mean, y'all can use it if you want, but there's probably some royal every time we say it anyway. Boombox. No, but. But we talked about that, and it's such a. There's some history in it, right? [00:02:33] Speaker B: Yes. [00:02:33] Speaker C: It's a demonstration that's been going on for a while. Do you want to talk a little bit about that? And before we get too far down the road, introduce yourself and who you're with. [00:02:43] Speaker B: My name is Molly Smith. I'm the damage for wrench and supervisor for Kinder Morgan. I'm out of South Louisiana, so I have seven staff that work for me that cover the southern half of the state. We are, you know, south of Alexandria state line to state line. So we could go anywhere from starks in the state line in Texas all the way over to Mississippi state line. [00:03:01] Speaker C: So just a little startup called Kinder Morgan. [00:03:04] Speaker A: Just a little. [00:03:04] Speaker B: Just a little one. And we just have a very small portion of what the whole company does. [00:03:08] Speaker C: So how long have you been in the industry? [00:03:12] Speaker B: I've been in the industry. What are we in? We're 24 2024. So I've been in the industry for twelve years. [00:03:17] Speaker A: She was just reminiscing with Steve Allen about her past life. [00:03:20] Speaker B: Yes, her history in the industry. Started in the industry in 2012 and have left damage prevention and come back throughout the industry and always tend to come back to it. It's where my passion is. Good people in the industry, we're close knit industry. But I've been with Kendra Morgan almost two years now, and I actually was introduced to the gas box five or eight years ago, boombox, when Mister Roderick Bourgeois, who used to work with our team. Roderick did the, did the boombox. And I saw it at a damage prevention summit at La event and thought, my gosh, what a great tool, even for industry people like we are, but much less republican schools. So when I came over to Kendra Morgan walked in our warehouse one day and the box was there, and I got with one of my team members who will be doing the demo with me. He goes around the state with me and helps. And I said, shout out, when are we going to start this again? And he was like, we can start it whenever you want. So we went through the process, got it kicked back off, and we've been doing it for a little over a year. We've done probably 1520 presentations so far, and we're gonna do five demos here this week. [00:04:28] Speaker A: Nice. [00:04:28] Speaker C: Very cool. I swear to you, either I saw it or Jim was somewhere and was sending me pictures. Within the last, I don't know, six, seven years probably. [00:04:41] Speaker B: Roderick stopped doing it right before COVID so probably right before COVID hit. [00:04:44] Speaker C: And he was like, we've got to have this guy out to do this. And so it's kind of neat now to be thinking about it and then talking to you. You're somebody. Like I said, we've known each other on the Internet kind of, or we've probably been at shows before, right? Probably that we didn't know each other. And to be here now and getting to look at it. You'll be set up behind us all the next few days. [00:05:08] Speaker B: Absolutely. [00:05:09] Speaker C: Blowing things. I'm just kidding. Boom and things. [00:05:11] Speaker B: Boombox, boom box. [00:05:13] Speaker C: That's four times. [00:05:14] Speaker A: So we're gonna get a live demo, right? [00:05:16] Speaker B: Yeah. Yeah. You guys will get the full scale demo. The demo is about 30 minutes long. Typically, we offer that up to any industry people that want it. We'll come to you and travel. We do diggers nights out here. We're gonna be doing ten minute demos just because the shortened windows, so these folks won't get to see all of the magic. But if they want us to come out and do it, we half truck will travel. [00:05:38] Speaker C: Now booking. Now booking. We're going to check it out just at a high level. Will you explain just a little bit about what's going to go on and what we're going to cover? [00:05:47] Speaker B: Sure. So it's intended to teach about natural gas and propane safety. We demonstrate a few different things, like upper level and lower level explosive limits. That's always a mouthful. We do some magic with it. Play with some bubbles, play with some fire. [00:06:00] Speaker C: Of course, by the way, upper level and lower level. [00:06:04] Speaker A: That was like a bubble. I thought we were going on. [00:06:06] Speaker B: I was like, where are we squirreling to here? [00:06:09] Speaker C: I took that. I had to understand it. [00:06:11] Speaker B: So, and then really what we focus on for this audience is going to be what to do in the event that there's a leak, whether it's a propane leak and how those implications work, or a natural gas leak. We have the firehouse. That shows what happens when you have a gas leak in your home. And then we really focus on pipeline safety because a lot of folks think about, there's a fire, let me put it out. But when it comes to a pipeline damage, it is better that it is on fire, because if it's not, you don't know where that you know that is going, and then you have a potential richness mixture that could be much more devastating in the long run. So we do a lot of different things in there in a very quick 30 minutes. We try to make it kin friendly. If we have kids, for the adults, we'll just set a lot of things on fire. [00:06:56] Speaker A: Man, what a job. What a gig you have, Molly. [00:06:59] Speaker B: It's just one of my many talents. [00:07:01] Speaker C: Well, Molly, I know. We want to check it out. We brought our hard hats. We should have brought our fr. I know it's in the building. [00:07:08] Speaker B: We'll keep you a little bit far from it, just so you're safe. [00:07:10] Speaker C: Let's go check it out, and then we'll come back, talk a little bit about it. [00:07:13] Speaker B: Awesome. [00:07:14] Speaker C: Cool. All right, Ashley, we are live at global, and we just got done talking with Molly, and we're here. We're going to see it live. Let's check it. [00:07:29] Speaker B: Ready? My name is Molly Smith. I'm the damage prevention supervisor for Kinder Morgan. This is Mark Hanks. He's one of our line patrollers down in the south Louisiana territory. Today, we're going to show you a little bit about what we call our gas house or our firebox demo. Share a little bit about public pipeline safety around natural gas propane. Show you a few little fun tips and tricks. Talk to you about upper and lower explosive limits of natural gas. So the first thing we always like to ask is if anybody has experience with natural gas. Normally, we get a hand raise, we get a few people out in the area, and one of the things that we ask is, can you drink natural gas? [00:08:07] Speaker C: James, you can drink anything if you have a mouth. [00:08:11] Speaker B: Do you think it is safe to drink natural gas? [00:08:13] Speaker C: I would say no. [00:08:14] Speaker B: Okay. Why? [00:08:16] Speaker C: I don't know. It just seems like not a good idea. Okay, tell me more. [00:08:21] Speaker B: I'm gonna drink it up. Natural gas is like lighter than air. By the time I have put it in this glass and go to drink it, the natural gas has completely dissipated. It's gone up into the atmosphere. The water is safe. I say that the water is always safe to drink. [00:08:39] Speaker C: Fair enough. [00:08:40] Speaker B: Now, conversely, propane, natural gas is lighter than air. Propane is heavier, right? So it's going to sink to the bottom. So if I take the propane and put it in the water, I am not drinking that because that is going to settle right here. So the other thing we like to show people and teach them with natural gas and propane is natural gas being lighter than air. If I fill up one of these beer steins, I am not going to be able to pour natural gas, because by the time I remove the nozzle, it's going to have dissipated. However, propane is heavier than air. Do you think I can pour it? [00:09:23] Speaker C: Sure. [00:09:25] Speaker B: Let's give it a try. The water didn't taste funny, and so we can sit here and pour propane nice all day long. So the safety moment with propane and that demonstration is propane. If you have a propane leak, especially, a lot of people love to camp here in Louisiana. They love to take their rvs out of. Most rvs have propane. If you get a propane leak, that propane is going to settle to the ground, and it is going to spread. So if you have a propane leak, the most likely ignition sources going to be down on the ground near that, somebody throws a cigarette butt out, somebody goes to light a campfire. That's where the lower extra, that's where the explosive area is going to be. But it's just like with natural gas, there's a lower level and upper level explosive limit. Natural gas is innately safe as long as it stays in the pipeline. When it gets that perfect air to gas mixture, then it's going to become explosive. So you can have a little bit of natural gas that's not explosive, but when it hits that right mixture, you're going to have some issues. So everybody knows we work for a pipeline. One of the things that we do in our damage prevention world is to make sure that people don't make contact with our pipelines. Because in the event you make contact with a pipeline, there's always the potential for a pipeline fire. So we are going to demonstrate a pipeline fire. Unfortunately, a lot of us in the industry have seen this. We have all been on site at some type of ignition, whether it's a small distribution line or whether it's a large scale pipeline incident. A lot of people think, oh, my gosh, there's a fire. We need to put it out, because that's how we're taught as kids, right? You're taught to go grab a rag, flap it out, put baking soda on it, get a fire extinguisher. And for safety disclosure, we do have a fire extinguisher over here to the side. In the event that we have an issue, what happens if you put that fire out but the gas is still burning? A lot of people are going to say, okay, it's safe, the fire is out. When in actuality, it's not safe. The gas is still dissipating, it's still getting up into the air, and it's making a cloud type atmosphere, which increases your explosive area, increases your risk. So in the event that there is a gas line damage, you have a propane or a gas line that gets hit, let it burn until the gas company can come out and do their proper process to turn the valves off, let the gas burn off and be completely finished. So when you're at home and you go in your house and you get that smell of rotten eggs, a lot of people, their first thought is, oh, let me turn on my light. Let me go and figure out where this is. Turning on a light is a spark picking up your cell phone, although we use them every single day and never get shocked. Using a cell phone is a spark. There's lots of things in your house that can cause a spark turning on your oven, whatever it may be. If you have a natural gas leak in your home, it takes is one spark, and depending on how long that leaks been going on, you could have an attic full of natural gas. You could have a room full of natural gas, and those results could be devastating. So what we try to show is that air to gas ratio. So I am going to fill this house with gas. I'm going to fill it with natural gas first. And what you will see. See is I'm going to hit an igniter, and you can see it clicking in there. We don't have an ignition, right? Because you don't have that perfect air to gas mixture. Now, if we have gas in there and you're at home and you have a gas leak in your home, and you go to open your front door and shut your front door, that is what potentially could happen. There's your boom box. So this is one of the reasons that we do this, and we try to show this presentation to as many people, whether we've got a. Like, we've got electrical energy guys watching us do it right now. They've worked in this industry for eons. We've been here forever. I always attribute it. We would love to show this to kids, to young adults, people, anyone that doesn't have an in depth knowledge of the industry, of what we do. We want to make sure people understand natural gas is safe. Safe. It is a clean burning, amazing resource that we have. I love cooking on a natural gas stove. I would do it every day if I could. When it's in the pipe, when it's used in its appropriate setting. It is a great thing to use. When you have a leak and you introduce that air and you introduce that spark, you can run into issues. So with that, that is just a high level overview of our show. You got any questions? [00:14:25] Speaker C: That's amazing. Well, the boombox was applicable. I'm just. I will let. Say my name every time y'all say it. [00:14:35] Speaker B: Gotcha. [00:14:36] Speaker C: Shout out. [00:14:37] Speaker B: Shout out to James. [00:14:38] Speaker A: Yeah, that was some guys jumping over here. [00:14:41] Speaker B: We did. And those are entergy linemen that are used to hearing fuses blow and hearing. [00:14:46] Speaker C: Transformers, if you've ever heard them click in a fuse. Wow. I will. I will say, I'm excited for y'all to be right there the whole time doing these demos while we're recording you're. [00:14:57] Speaker B: Gonna jump during every single interview. [00:14:59] Speaker C: That's gonna be the real thing. And when a lot of people get in here, when they open, because the halls aren't open, we just got like the vip package. [00:15:07] Speaker B: Right. [00:15:09] Speaker C: That's really cool. Knowing the history behind it makes it even better. But you mentioned just a really small thing that we kind of noticed too when we walked up, which is, you know, y'all are a safety organization. We all are, right. Our industry, that's the reason y'all are doing it. And you put your hair back, donning the fr, you know, now your hair's back down 5 seconds later. But that's an important part of it. [00:15:36] Speaker B: It is so coming into this. I've been in the natural gas industry for twelve years. When you're not in the field, you don't think about the day to day potential. Because gas in the pipe is inherently safe. It's a great resource. You don't think about the what ifs and even a small amount of fire. Even with my hair down, I am NFR. I'm donned up. I have gloves on. Typically when we're doing the show, my hair could ignite if I got too close to that. And then this is an unprotected part of my body. So I put my hair up, I typically will put it in a baseball cap if I have one, to give me some kind of head protection. We wear our leather gloves and because there's not a lot of women in the industry, it's becoming more prominent. But people don't think about that is one very small part of the safety product. So having the gloves on, having the fr, even the steel toe boots in some cases, which they're not the best thing, they're not the most comfortable thing to wear, but you never know what's going to happen. So you need to be prepared for that. [00:16:32] Speaker C: And not even to mention, I mean, in this case, and I'm sure every case, getting the clearance. Y'all get clearance for this long before. [00:16:39] Speaker B: Absolutely. [00:16:39] Speaker C: Like it's a whole. I'm sure you had to come down to a safety meeting, demo it, do all the things. I mean, we're in the middle, is very safe in where we're doing this, but at the same time, it's part of it. [00:16:50] Speaker B: Yeah, we do this in conference rooms. We have to get clearance to make sure we're not going to set a sprinkler system on. Who would think about that? Everybody thinks, oh, bring the box that flame. If you have a very sensitive sprinkler system. We're going to do it at a pipeliner's conference or a pipeliner's dinner in a restaurant in October. That's my first question when somebody invites us to do this show is, do you have approval for me to do this? And it's because of the safety factor. And that's why we were set up where we are, to give everybody a good viewing space, but also to keep people a safe distance away to make sure that we don't have anybody get too up close and personal with the fire today. [00:17:27] Speaker C: Have you seen any of this type of demo stuff before? I've been to shows. I've seen the. I'm sure we're gonna cook a hot dog back here. You know, like, I love art. I do, too. I. It never gets old, but have you been able to take in any of this along the way? [00:17:41] Speaker A: Once, but it's been a while, so it's cool to see. And honestly, the one that I saw previously didn't have near as much explanation or real life examples as what you just provided us. [00:17:52] Speaker C: I thought I was gonna get to drink natural gas. [00:17:55] Speaker B: I can let you do it at any of the next five sessions. [00:17:58] Speaker A: Please. I would love to get the b roll of that. [00:18:01] Speaker C: Well, Molly, thank you so much for everything you do for our industry. Second, for coming on. [00:18:07] Speaker B: Thank you for having us. We love being here and can't wait to spend the week with you guys. All right, awesome. [00:18:11] Speaker C: Appreciate you. [00:18:12] Speaker B: We'll be back. Bye, guys.

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