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OTEC offers public safety training to schools, emergency response organizations, government agencies and just about anyone you can imagine. We are happy to come to your facility and provide training to help you, your members, employees or students learn about the fascinating mystery we call electricity.
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Manager of Loss Control
OTEC participates in Mock Emergency Response Drills in Baker City
BAKER CITY, Ore. (OTEC) – There were more than a few concerned faces slowing down and taking a second look back on Saturday morning as OTEC’s Manager of Loss Control Jeff Anderson began building what was to become a mock automobile accident.
With his truck bumped up against a power pole and billowing smoke, Anderson gingerly draped what looked like an energized power line across the top of his rig and said, “maybe next year I’ll suggest we move this off of the main road so people don’t get too concerned as they drive past.”
The finishing touch for Anderson’s crash scene was a red and white jar of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Blood that he strategically poured over his head and onto his crisp white t-shirt.
“I wore this white shirt special so it would have maximum impact,” Anderson added.
And that is the whole point of this safety training – maximum impact.
This is the twelfth year the Baker County Emergency Management team has been performing these exercises. For this training they had four scenarios set up across town with true-to-life, life threatening situations for emergency crews to train with.
“All crews participating are going to receive a dispatch call today and, just as in a genuine emergency situation, they are not going to know what they will find until they arrive,” said Anderson.
At the OTEC site, what crews found was an injured driver in a truck that had hit a power pole, appeared to be on fire, with a live power line draped across its top.
“When current is flowing from a downed power line into the earth, a high-voltage condition is created,” explains Anderson. “When faced with this emergency scenario, it is important for crews to remain a safe distance away until given the all-clear to move in. Voltage can be radiating from the downed line into the ground. If responders step too close, electrical voltage can come back up through the ground and electrify the emergency crews trying to save an accident victim. This is called ‘step potential.’”
“We have been training with every one of these departments this past year reviewing the dangers of voltage and ‘step potential’,” said Anderson. “This is a little ‘in the field’ test to see what happens.”
Anderson advises, “If contact is made with an energized power line while you are in a vehicle, the best thing to do is to try and remain calm and not get out unless the vehicle is on fire. If you must exit because of fire or other safety reasons, try to jump completely clear, making sure that you do not touch the equipment and the ground at the same time. Land with both feet together, maintain balance and shuffle away in small steps to minimize the path of electric current and avoid electrical shock.”
“Providing this opportunity for training was no small task and took the coordinated efforts of multiple emergency response departments across the county,” noted Anderson. “Crews will be scored on their response, reaction and resolution to each scenario and given professional advice, where needed, to make the teams stronger when they truly get called out.”
OTEC offers public safety training to schools, emergency response organizations and government agencies. For more information, contact your local OTEC office or email Jeff Anderson at: firstname.lastname@example.org.