Fourth-graders at Riverview Intermediate School in Sartell react to an arc flash on the safety display table presented by Stearns Electric lineman Levi Jessen.
by Dennis Dalman
Sparks of amazement lit up the faces of Sartell’s Riverview Intermediate School’s fourth-graders when they learned about the sometimes-dangerous power of electricity in a recent presentation from the Stearns Electric Association.
SEA employees – in particular, two linemen – taught the children about electric energy, how it works, home-energy efficiency, types of energy and how electricity can be dangerous for unwary people.
During the linemen’s presentation of a “live, energized home and farm model,” the eager students watched wide-eyed as they witnessed crackling electrical sparks and arc flashes that were central to the demonstration.
Students also learned how to react in the awful event of a traffic accident happening that would involve any electrical equipment, such as a power pole. Always stay within the vehicle, a lineman told the students – unless a fire erupts. In that case, jump out of the vehicle, keeping one’s feet together and shuffle as far away from the vehicle as possible.
Some students were able to try on a hard hat, rubber gloves, pole climbers, safety glasses and a utility belt – gear that line workers wear as part of their daily jobs.
The presentation at Riverview was just one of many similar safety programs throughout the larger area served by Stearns Electric Association Co-Op. Since 1937, the co-op has provided electricity to customers in the following counties: Stearns, Todd, Morrison, Kandiyohi, Pope and Douglas.