Whatever the situation, the message from Mississippi Power’s Corporate Security team to area first responders is clear: safety is paramount when dealing with electricity.
“Don’t let the heat of the moment lead you into making a rushed decision,” said Steve Ford, course instructor and member of Mississippi Power’s Corporate Security and Risk Management department. “Treat all wires as if they were energized. It’s the quiet wires that could get you killed.”
During the past two weeks, the company has held a series of electrical training programs for several Coast law enforcement agencies and fire departments.
Ford shared his knowledge with cadets at the Harrison County Sherriff’s Law Enforcement Academy, while fellow instructor Archie Reeves made sure members of the Ocean Springs Fire Department are up to speed on in-the-field procedures involving electricity.
“We’ve taught these classes since 1985,” said Reeves. “We do it as a service for the community, and it’s also a great networking tool.”
It could be as simple as an electrical wire down near a busy intersection, or as serious as a traffic accident with multiple poles on the ground.
The class features a 45 minute video, a demonstration highlighting the company’s Safety City model, and a look at meter recognition along with techniques that help firefighters in their day-to-day work in the field.
“The key is for everyone to be safe out there,” Reeves added. “There’s potential danger on every call they get. Some of them may not have had any experience in this area, so we also share recent cases with them.”
Many firefighters see this class as a valuable training tool.
“The things we learn here could potentially save lives when we’re at a fire,” said Ocean Springs firefighter Brandon Bloodworth.
The bottom line, Reeves said, is making sure everyone is safe.
“This relates to everyone,” he said, “but most of the time these first responders undergo the biggest risks.”