Within the first 6 months of the year, Spoon River Electric linemen have responded to over a dozen accidents involving utility poles being hit by some sort of vehicle. Spoon River Electric Cooperative (SREC) got together with Fulton County ESDA and held a “Downed Powerline” Safety Training for first responders in the SREC service territory at the Cooperative’s Headquarters in Canton to address dangers first responders face when they encounter downed powerlines.
President/CEO Bills Dodds opened the discussion with several incidents that have happened already around the area and reiterated how important it is to know your surroundings, especially when you are dealing with powerlines. The conversation was then turned over to Matt Eisenmenger, AIEC Safety Instructor, who introduced the video ‘First in Line: First Responder Safety’. Areas of discussion included; pulling of meters, downed powerlines, equipment in lines, padmount transformers, and pole fires.
When coming up on an accident of any kind always make sure you conduct a 360 visual of your surroundings, call the electric utility immediately if electricity is involved, establish and protect a circle of safety of at least 50 ft. from downed powerlines, communicate and coordinate; we are all on the same team, and don’t ever take chances; always be safe.
In attendance were volunteer firefighters from Ipava, Astoria, Avon, Ellisville and Fairview Fire Departments, the Illinois State Police, Gary Hensley with Fulton County ETSB/911 Board, Fulton County ESDA, AIEC Safety Instructor; Matt Eisenmenger, and employees of Spoon River Electric.
Many great questions were answered and topics discussed. If you are interested in First Responder Training please contact Taryn Mellert at Spoon River Electric (309.647.2700) or Chris Helle with Fulton County ESDA.
About Spoon River Electric Cooperative
Spoon River Electric Cooperative, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, serves more than 4,947 members in the Fulton, Knox, McDonough, Peoria and Schuyler. The locally owned cooperative has 1,272 miles of lines and a utility plant valued at more than $31.6 million. This not-for-profit member owned utility service is committed to providing reliability, fiscal stability and increasing the products and services available to enhance their member’s quality of life. Learn more at www.srecoop.org.