Ongoing Safety Training & Situational Awareness

Ongoing Safety Training & Situational Awareness

Investing in our Instructors

As discussed in an earlier post, we are continually investing in our instructors and their safety & rescue knowledge. Our team is diverse and we pull from a variety of industries for cross training, to learn the latest techniques, equipment and safety issues from multiple vantage points. They often spend the time to share with each other their vast experiences to help with all areas of safety that could potentially save a life or mitigate a hazard.

Case in point, last week our very own Andy Flageolle instructed our team on the risks involved with rescuing personnel from dangerous powerline situations.

Topics in training included:

-General overview of a power generation, transmission and distribution grid.
-Work at height safety and hazardous conditions on electrical structures including: high voltage clearances, grounding techniques, isolation vs. insulation.
-Specialized safety equipment for high voltage.
-Additional considerations around electricity such as weather, altitude, wild land fires, emergency personnel and additional equipment.
-Substation safety and hazards
-Case histories

In a timely coincidence this week, our very own Joe Anderson was out on a call with the Southwest Adams County Fire Rescue Station 11 involving a landscaping truck taking down a powerline.

photo 1 (2) photo 3 (2) photo 2 (2)
Whether the parking brake was not set, a mechanical failure or some other reason we do not know. But the truck in the pictures rolled back into the pole and both driver and passenger jumped from truck safely. Colorado State Patrol was on scene and was potentially dangerously walking around the truck to take measurements before Xcel Energy was on scene.  Traffic was blocked off.

The fire department arrived and cautiously and correctly parked 100 ft back from the incident and did not approach.  Adams County Dispatch Center requested a pole number but in order to gain that information one would have to walk right up to the pole to see it. Since the truck was partially on top of the pole numbers were obstructed.  The Fire Department made a knowledgeable assessment that they were not to approach the scene and stay back until Excel Energy determined if the fuse had blown or not.

Xcel was on the scene in 10 minutes and stated that staying away, not going closer to obtain the pole number and keeping everyone else away was the correct course of action.  Xcel informed everyone involved that it was a 120 and 220 line that was hit and connected to a 7600 kv distribution line, and that had blown the fuse and the line was dead.  He cut the lines and replaced the fuse. He was asked if there was a method to determine next time if the fuse was blown.  He stated yes but no and the safest is to err on the side of caution.  There is no life safety risk until one is introduced!

“The training couldn’t have been better for the training I received,” said Joe Anderson. “It was helpful because I knew exactly what we were up against which resulted in  better situational awareness and team management.”

Be safe out there!

Kevin Carter
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