Every year, area fourth graders participate in a four-part program demonstrating the dangers of electricity and the technical skills required to be a lineman, hosted by South Plains Electric Cooperative. The program is held at our North office in Lubbock for three days as well as one day spent at each our Childress office and Spur office.
In 2022, this program was presented to over 1,000 students to help promote October as National Co-op Month. It was the Cooperative’s 20th year to host the safety demonstrations which have reached over 20,000 kids since its inception.
The four demonstration areas include:
An arcing demonstration showing the danger of overhead power lines. SPEC employees use a mini-transformer/power line set up to demonstrate different dangers of contacting overhead power lines. The demonstration unit produces 5,000 volts, which is less voltage than an actual power line but produces sparks and fire, impressing the real danger of power line contact to the students.
SPEC linemen demonstrated a pole-top and bucket rescue. The foreman expresses the importance of a quick response time when rescuing an injured crew member. He explains the procedure in detail but also makes it clear that this is one procedure they hope they never have to practice in real life. They explained and demonstrate how a crew must work together to get an injured crew member to the ground safely and quickly. They explain how crew members have fewer than five minutes to get an injured person to the ground and start cardiopulmonary resuscitation before the brain is damaged due to lack of oxygen.
The dangers of underground lines and padmount transformers are also demonstrated. The popping noise of the electricity makes sure everyone’s attention is on the lineman presenting.
A fourth demonstration station features a video which helps students pull all of the safety information together.
If you would like more information on this program, please contact Jill Reece at jreece@SPEC.coop.
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