By TOM WOERNER
Of The Record Staff
Officials from the largest electricity provider in the region came to Harnett County Thursday to teach local emergency crews about the dangers of dealing with electricity.
Duke Energy Progress officials brought the live wire training mobile facility to Harnett County Emergency Services for a demonstration in Lillington. Emergency responders from around the county were on hand and watched demonstrations of electricity at work.
“.. It makes you more aware of the importance of safety,”
— Duke Energy Spokesperson Meredith Archie
The live wire trailer has traveled all over North Carolina, according to Duke Energy District Manager Marty Clayton. The program is also used in other states where Duke Energy maintains service, including Florida and several states in the Midwest.
The trailer, with make-shift wires and poles, is plugged into large, on-site transformers wherever it sets up. That immediately opens flood gates for thousands of volts of electricity to pass through the lines — as it does in every corner of the county, every day.
This allows instructors to show emergency workers how to deal with electricity as they go about their day-to-day business, and teaches emergency responders the same thing. Four employees from Duke Energy worked on the trailer Thursday.
As they gathered in the parking lot at the Harnett County Emergency Services office, a crowd of EMS responders witnessed several things, including what happens when animals get in the way of electrical service lines. The electrical training will help them make safer decisions at emergency scenes where light poles and electrical wires are involved.
EMS workers also recieved a brief demonstration with tools used to restore electrical power and the basics of how a power system works. “Our main purpose is to show emergency responders what can happen when different things come in contact with our electrical systems,” Mr. Clayton said. “Our message here today is safety. We want to let all of the EMS workers here know how our systems work so they can be safer when they are responding to emergencies. We want them to be more aware of how our systems work.”
Before any additional instruction began, officials stressed the importance of safety in dealing with electrical service. The hours-long seminar included strict instruction on the necessary equipment that they use every day.
Duke Energy spokesperson Meredith Archie was on hand for the event. “When you see this, it makes you more aware of the importance of safety,” Ms. Archie said. “It is very important.”