May is Electrical Safety Month. But GLE takes safety seriously every day.
To promote early safety awareness, GLE offers a free demonstration program to second through seventh grade classes in schools attended by the children of GLE members.
Demonstrators (mostly retired lineworkers and operations employees) bring GLE’s tabletop PowerTown display to schools. It features a miniature energized power line that dramatically demonstrates what happens when accidental contact is made with wires through climbing trees, playing near electrical equipment, and other activities. Presenters also cover what to do when encountering fallen power lines and other electrical safety hazards.
Rick Jordan, one of GLE’s safety demo presenters, recently worked with fellow GLE retiree Jim Ance to bring a safety demo to Ellsworth Schools on May 6.
“PowerTown is an awesome way to get our electrical safety message across to kids,” Jordan says. He describes students as “thinking and engaged” during and after the demonstration.
In most cases, the young students have never heard about the dangers of electricity. The PowerTown demo cover topics such as how a tree touching an electric line can be dangerous and what to do if students are in a vehicle on which power lines fall. Questions from students include why birds that perch on power lines don’t get electrocuted and how lightning affects power lines and can endanger people.
“We end up having to explain a bit of electrical theory in terms that grade school children can understand,” notes Jordan.
Between the PowerTown demonstration and an electrical safety handout provided to students, demonstrators hope that students take home what they learn and share it with parents and siblings. They want their safety information to not only protect children who see the demos, but their families, too.
PowerTown safety demonstrations are available during the school year from September to June. To request a demo for your school, fill out the request form at gtlakes.com/safety-demonstrations/. A GLE representative will contact you with an available date.
We’re looking out for even our youngest GLE members.