April 26, 2023

Fire Safety With Your Co-op: Working Alongside Local First Responders


Here at Poudre Valley REA, safety is our cornerstone. We instill these principles into everything we do, while also ensuring that those around us know what to do in situations involving electricity. Whether a downed power line, damaged transformer, or other accident involving electricity, our crews understand the importance of safety and the steps required to ensure anyone can stay safe.

Part of our commitment to safety includes working with first responders to ensure they know what to do if they arrive at an accident and electricity is involved.

“It’s really about building those relationships between departments,” Kelly Streeb, PVREA Working Foreman and volunteer firefighter, said. “Knowing who to call, sharing incident action plans (IAP). It’s incredibly beneficial.”

When training first responders on electrical safety, we utilize a power point, live demonstration, and a hot stick tester to showcase the steps they can take when arriving at an accident, fire, or other incident involving electricity. This provides first responders with an opportunity to use the hot stick tester to see if power is still traveling through power lines, learn safety steps around electricity, and learn who to call when dealing with an electrical fire or other dangerous situation involving electricity.

“We used it three times this past winter,” Russ Kane, Fire Chief of Galeton Fire Protection District, said. “It gives us actions we can take instead of doing nothing. Having intimate knowledge of step potential, for example, is incredibly helpful.”

We’re looking to further build out those relationships with local departments. Knowing that they can call upon us for assistance, utilize our training resources, and form partnerships to ensure that we can work together, whether it’s an emergency or not.

“We want first responders to know we’re always looking out for them,” Steven Leenerts, PVREA Journeyman Lineman and volunteer firefighter, said. “The more we work together, the faster and safer things go.”

If you or your organization would like to know more about receiving electrical safety training or a live electricity safety demonstration, please reach out to us through our page here: https://pvrea.coop/outages-safety/safety/electrical-safety-demos/