Training Helps Ensure Public and First Responders Safety
First Responder Training
Safety training was conducted recently by Blue Ridge Energy to help fire fighters, emergency management, law enforcement and other first responders who help ensure the public’s safety during emergencies. Attendees learned critical information about working safely around power lines and other electric system equipment. Kelly Huffman, Blue Ridge Energy Safety Manger, conducted the training along with local operations staff from the cooperative. A live line demonstration was presented by employees from Randolph EMC.
To help ensure the safety of emergency first responders and the general public, Blue Ridge Energy recently conducted a training program for emergency first responders across its service area at each of the cooperative’s district offices.
Training focused on working safely around power lines and the electric system when responding to emergencies, especially downed power lines which can still be energized. The cooperative’s First Responder Safety Program is designed help emergency responders work safely in their jobs as they encounter electrical dangers involving vehicle accidents, fallen trees, or other rescue and emergency situations near the electric system. Attendees included North Carolina highway patrolmen, forest rangers, police officers, professional and volunteer firemen, and Emergency Medical Services personnel.
The training focused on how to avoid injury or death from electrocution and other hazards. It included an outdoor demonstration of grounding techniques for vehicle accidents as well as a classroom portion focusing on electric hazard recognition. Each attending department received a First Responders Safety training kit to train personnel who were unable to attend. Blue Ridge Energy also maintains a First Responders electric safety portal on the cooperative’s website so fire departments and other first responders can set their own training opportunities.
According to Kelly Huffman, Blue Ridge Energy safety manager, “Blue Ridge provides this and other community safety training because we’re committed to the safety of our public citizens and the special individuals who are continuously training and preparing to respond, night or day, to any emergency situation. “We all share a commitment to serving the public and to keeping our first responders and linemen safe as they fulfill a very special duty in what can be very dangerous situations,” Huffman added.