Electric cooperatives fund safety training for first responders

Written by Theresa Rose on February 19, 2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015 – DES MOINES, IA – The electric cooperatives of Iowa, including Access Energy Cooperative, have teamed up with Alliant Energy and MidAmerican Energy to fund specialized first responder training during the 91st Annual State Fire School session in Ames from February 27-March 1.

Effective training reduces risk to firefighters, many of whom are volunteers, while increasing the level of service to the communities they serve. The electric utilities will fund two identical three-hour workshops, Responding to Electrical Emergencies – Solar and Wind Power, which will be led by renown instructor Mike Callan. The workshops will familiarize responders with the hazards of electricity in general, along with the unique hazards of solar and wind electricity generation. Participants will discuss the hazards, equipment, safety, and general response tactics for first responders.

Callan will also present an extensive all-day course, Responding to Electrical Emergencies – Solar and Wind Power:
Train-the-Trainer, that will provide proper tools and training for Fire Service Training Bureau Field Staff, who will then use that knowledge to train additional first responders across the state regarding the unique fire hazards of solar and wind on-site electric generation systems.

With the increased presence of distributed generation systems, firefighters and first responders need specialized training in how to react to potential fire hazards that may include solar panels or wind turbines at a citizen’s home, farm or business. For over 75 years, the electric cooperatives of Iowa have been guided by their commitment to educating, training, and informing the people and communities they serve about electric safety.

Organized by the Fire Service Training Bureau, the State Fire School training is held at the Scheman Continuing Education Center on the campus of Iowa State University and provides high quality training from top instructors.
Photo and video opportunities of the training may be available upon request.