National Theatre for Children
Live Line Electrical Safety Exhibit
Safety in action
There’s something about the combination of theater and humor that grabs kids’ attention and keeps it. Just ask any of the 60,000-plus children across our service territory who got kid-friendly, long-lasting lessons in electrical safety from a high-energy stage show. Safety Detectives in Hot Pursuit, which teaches kids about electricity, how it’s used, and how to identify dangerous situations and prevent fires, has been performed at 170 schools across Pennsylvania. It’s part of our plan to deliver its safety message to 100,000 youngsters over a five-year period. The goal is to teach young children lessons they will remember for a lifetime and share with their family and friends.
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PPL Electric Utilities takes its mobile electrical safety exhibit across its service territory each year to teach first responders, contractors, businesses, school students and the general public how to stay safe around electricity.
The exhibit is a scaled-down 7200-volt electrical distribution system that was developed and built by PPL workers and features live electrical wires, utility poles, and transformers.
Using ladders, gloves, shovels and other tools in a controlled environment, trained PPL staff wearing protective equipment will show the spark, flames, smoke and crackle that occur when those items come in contact with live electrical lines.
To request a demonstration, contact Mark Santayana at MCSantayana@pplweb.com.
In summer 2017, lineman leader Matt Strohl spotted power lines hanging low to the ground and a nearby tree in flames following a vehicle crash in Catasauqua. Off duty and at his son’s baseball game, he ran to bystanders near the wire and flames and told them to stay back. Just as quickly, he called PPL’s Distribution Control Center to have the line de-energized to ensure everyone at the accident scene was safe. Strohl’s speedy response to a very dangerous situation helped keep people safe. And it helped PPL restore power to 2,400 customers within six minutes and another 916 customers within seven minutes.
In late 2017, a pair of line workers saw a young man who needed assistance. Pete Kuckla and Jim Merrick were restoring power when they noticed a young man who appeared to be extremely disoriented. They called police to assist, and wen the man was away from his vehicle, the workers took the keys from the ignition to prevent the man from driving. It may have been a life-saving move. The workers later learned that the man apparently was experiencing an episode related to a previous traumatic brain injury. The young man’s father arrived and thanked PPL crews for helping to ensure his son’s safety.
Journeyman substation electrician Mike Umble received the 2016 Spirit of Courage Award for helping to pull a man from a vehicle crash shortly before the car caught on fire in Manheim Township. He was on his way to his first job of the day when he saw a sport utility vehicle with the driver inside and a small amount of smoke coming from the vehicle. The Spirit of Courage program was started by the Burn Prevention Network in partnership with Valley Preferred and Lehigh Valley Health Network. It recognizes people who go “above and beyond” in doing something heroic to save someone from burn injuries or death.
A trio of linemen saw a man collapse on a hot summer day in Pine Grove and rushed to his aid. Journeyman Linemen Chad Fegley, Kevin Blessing and Kris Rech noticed a man collapse to the ground in summer 2016. They immediately called 911 and moved the man to a cool place and applied ice packs to cool him down. The medics eventually arrived and provided treatment for heat exhaustion. The crew later found out that the man had returned home and was doing well.
For years, we’ve been improving worker safety at PPL Electric Utilities with a program – Good Catch - that supports organizations across our service territory. Workers submit Good Catches, or suggestions about existing to potential safety issues that exist. For each Good Catch submitted, PPL Electric Utilities contributes money to a donation pool that is eventually shared with organizations that have safety-focused programs and missions. In 2017, PPL employees submitted a record number of Good Catches, leading to donations totaling $7,900.