Nov. 20, 2012. Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation recently hosted more than 60 Watauga County First Responders for a safety and training program designed to keep those that protect the public safe from potential on-the-job electric and propane dangers.
Local firefighters and first responders often face situations involving downed power lines such as auto accidents and major storm damage or fires in heavy electrical environments.
The cooperative’s First Responder Safety program combines a live electric “hot line” demonstration and a propane emergency demonstration. Additionally, training kits are provided to each department as well as access to the online training portal “First Responder Beware” to aid in continuous training opportunities beyond the Blue Ridge program.
“Additionally, each year Blue Ridge Electric visits all fourth grade classrooms and provides demonstrations that teach students about electrical safety,” explained Grey Scheer, director of community relations for Blue Ridge Electric. “Combined with our First Responder safety training, we hope we’re helping save lives. We know how often first responders are exposed to dangers and we want them to know how to be safe around the electric system. If this training helps prevent harm to those who protect us, that’s what this is all about.” Scheer continued.
“Fire fighters and first responders work hard to keep us safe and we’re proud to offer these opportunities to help them stay safe.” explained Steve Woodring, Watauga operations manager for Blue Ridge Electric. “Our linemen often rely on local fire departments to flag traffic during emergency power restoration efforts,” he continued. “It’s very dangerous work on rural roads and we can’t thank them enough. We hope our training exercise helps.”
Blue Ridge Electric is a member-owned electric cooperative serving some 74,000 members in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Avery, Alexander and Wilkes counties. To learn more about the safety program, visit Blue Ridge Electric’s web site at www.BlueRidgeEMC.com under “In the Community” or contact your local Blue Ridge Electric office.