Ameren Illinois and Peoria Fire Department team for power line safety training

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – Ameren Illinois and the Peoria Fire Department are partnering to share the importance of safety near power lines.

Tuesday, two sessions of electrical safety training took place for local first responders at the Peoria Fire Department’s central station.

Live Line instructor and retired utility industry worker Steve Hancock performed a live demonstration of a 7,200 volt distribution system.

Hancock went through several scenes to demonstrate what to do and not to do near live lines. He said the training is important for first responders because they’re usually on scene before anyone else.

“99.9% of the time the electric system is very, very safe but in the event something happens, it causes major problems, accidents and including death. So, we just want to make sure people understand what they’re up against and how to effectively deal with it to keep themselves safe and whoever they may be rescuing,” Hancock said.

Peoria Fire Chief Jim Bachman said it’s not uncommon for firefighters to encounter a situation involving power lines, making training key.

“This refresher along with some new information will keep our firefighters and the public safe. Obviously, water and electricity do not mix and that’s one of our bigger concerns. There’s times when we have automobiles hit telephone poles and there’s live wires down, so we encounter it quite often,” Bachman said.

Hancock also said it’s important to know that voltage does not cause death, but amps do.

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