DAPHNE, Ala. (WKRG) – High atop a power pole on the Eastern Shore linemen performed a different task Tuesday morning, working to save one of their own.
“They practice this once a year to hone in on their skills and techniques,” said Robby Howard, a supervisor with Riviera Utilities.
It’s a drill, but the scene Tuesday could easily be a life-saving real life scenario one day. Using a 150lb dummy the linemen rushed to help their “coworker” safely down the pole after an emergency.
“They have to complete this task in under 4 minutes. That’s the time they have to get the dummy down to the ground to start first aid and CPR,” said Howard.
Riviera Utilities is working to train their employees now, ahead of Hurricane season. That’s a time when linemen are their busiest and they have to be ready for the conditions and prepared for what could happen on the job. But, it’s a risk they take all year long.
“Just this last weekend we had the springtime thunderstorms roll through and our guys are out in lightning, thunder, wind, hail,” he added.
Firefighters and other first responders assisted with the exercise. In a real medical emergency these men and women will rush to the scene and take over. But, it’s those initial minutes that are the most critical.
“They put their life on the line every day. Everything they do has a risk factor in it,” Howard continued.