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Tri-County visits Kiwanis and promotes safety awareness

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On Thursday, Feb. 26, Kiwanis came together for their weekly meeting. They were visited by Tri-County Electric Cooperative's General Manager, Julius Hackett; Safety Director, Rusty Smith; and Community Relations Specialist, Kaitlynn Passmore. Their intent is to raise awareness in the community about the hazards power lines can cause, as well as to teach proper safety tips and protocols for handling these dangerous situations. “It's really important to everyone at Tri-County that we get the word out about this sort of thing [power line safety],” said Kaitlynn Passmore. The presention was given by Safety Director, Rusty Smith. He used a demonstration area that resembled a child's play table; complete with grass, trees, a school bus, a tractor and people. A life-like power line, just like one would see around the community, ran through the middle of the demo table. The most interesting element of the demonstration was that the power line was “hot,” and acted just like a real-life powerline would. In order to demonstrate various dangerous situations, Smith wore special gloves and a special shirt which protected him from being shocked by the equipment which, Smith iterated, was 10,000 volts. Smith went down the table demonstrating the dangers of power lines-- some of the demonstrations included the dangers of kites or any tall object that might strike a powerline. His expression was, “look up and live,” asserting that people must always be aware of surrounding power lines and look up to avoid accidently making contact with one. He demonstrated the dangers of under-ground power lines by showing a toy bulldozer striking a cable underneath the “pretend ground.” Every time a grounded object made contact with the powerlines, it produced an electric reaction and visibly displayed the dangers people come in contact with everyday. Smith added that if one's car ever strikes a power line and the line falls, to remain in the car. “If there is no other option and you must evacuate your car due to a fire or something life-threatening, make sure you stand on the edge of your car and leap as far away as possible,” said Smith. He iterated that when one foot is in the car, and the other foot is touching the ground, its almost certain that one will be electrocuted. If you know of an organization or school that is interested in inviting Tri-County Electric Cooperative to perform their safety demonstration, call (850) 973-2285 or email Community Relations Specialist, Kaitlynn Passmore, at “Please give us a call,” said Passmore. “The more people we can demonstrate this to, the better.”

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