Jan 30, 2019
The small, rural town of Logan, West Virginia, is called home by roughly 1,500 people, many of whom are called upon to play multiple roles that are essential to helping any small town thrive. For Aaron Fry, whether it’s the TransCanada hard hat he dawns when working in and around the Grant Compressor Station, or the slightly heavier firefighter helmet that many times he finds himself putting on in a hurry, his presence can be felt throughout an entire community.
“It all started about 17 years ago when I first became a junior firefighter with the City of Logan,” said Aaron. “I’ve always had a passion for helping others and my local community, that’s what drew me to wanting to become a firefighter.”
Fast forward 17 years later, and Aaron now finds himself as a firefighter, family man, and a TransCanada employee. At TransCanada, Aaron is tasked with overseeing a team responsible for the same safe and reliable operations of pipelines in Logan County and Mingo County, West Virginia in addition to Pike County, Kentucky.
“Being active in the community has given me the chance to meet a lot of different people from different backgrounds,” noted Aaron. “One person may know me as a firefighter, another as ‘that guy who works for the local gas company,’ while to others I’m just simply their neighbor or friend.”
Whether it’s in his ‘day’ job with TransCanada, or fighting fires with the Logan Fire Department, safety plays an important role in everything Aaron does.
Aaron's devotion to spreading the importance of safety isn’t just tailored to adults, but children as well. He has become a frequent visitor to local schools as he continues to promote this message.
“Safety is something that is meant for all ages, and with my experience as a firefighter I’ve come to find that starting to talk to kids at a young age on a topic like this is important,” Aaron commented.
During these visits, Aaron uses this opportunity to teach students about pipelines, how to identify them, and the importance of calling (or clicking) before you dig.
“Many people don’t realize that utility lines — like natural gas and electrical lines — can be found almost everywhere you look throughout our communities, whether you’re in rural West Virginia, or an urban center like Houston and Calgary, we rely on these on a daily basis,” said Aaron. “I see it as my duty as both a TransCanada employee and first responder to make sure that we’re educating as many people possible on this subject.”
Not only have the impact his presentations had on students lead to schools asking him to return, but it has also lead to some kids teaching their parents.
“Recently, a parent of one of the students I presented to shared a story with me about how they were driving home, and their child immediately exclaimed ‘STOP’. They went on to tell me how they quickly hit the brakes, thinking something was wrong and then explained how their son proceed to point out a pipeline marker and started telling them about what they learned about it and safety,” stated Fry. “Stories like these truly show that no one is ever too young to be educated on safety.”
Aaron’s impact on his community and his passion for safety are also evident to his fellow employees.
“For the past two years, Aaron has served as a member of our Southeast Regional Joint Health, Safety & Environmental Committee (JHSEC), co-chairing the committee in 2018,” said Jeff Hill, Aaron's manager. “To be on this committee, you must show a passion for safety on a daily basis, which Aaron possesses. Through this committee, Aaron shows his commitment to bringing his coworker's safety issues to the forefront, and to help find improvement opportunities.”
If you ask Jeff, he’d say that the TransCanada values of Safety, Integrity, Collaboration, and Responsibility come to Aaron just as natural as the role he is in.
Operations Area Manager, South East Ops Area 6