Video: Mock electrical accident true to life   

Tags: Avista Utilities, Safety, Events, Video

The above video and the following story were originally run in Avista’s employee publication, e.view. But a few folks online commented that they’d like to see this video project I’d been working on. I’m really proud of this video and the employees who set up and then executed this mock accident. It truly shows our company’s commitment to safety and our employees’ dedication. Watch video now.

Realistic mock accident scenario brings out Avista’s best
Journeyman Lineman Mike Toutloff says there’s no handbook on how to rescue a lineman off a pole. Sure, we practice it in all of our various locations and we’re trained well, but rarely if ever do we go out into the woods and test our processes and procedures to see if we can make it happen during a crisis.

So he made it happen.

Employees perform CPR during mock accident
During the mock accident scenario, employees give
CPR to the fallen co-workers.
On a rainy, muddy Wednesday morning in April, in a rural area just outside Addy, Wash., Toutloff and Safety and Health Specialist Jim Womble spearheaded a mock accident scenario with an unsuspecting line crew. The scenario was pretty simple. Two linemen come into electrical contact on a pole and the remaining crew members were tasked with doing everything they could to save them.

But here’s where ‘pretty simple,’ gets thrown out the window.

Would radios work this far out in the woods? How about cell phones? Who would respond and how would they find the crew down a one-lane dirt road, miles and miles from the main highway? How would communications with the Colville and Spokane offices play out? Would MedStar be able to land in adverse weather conditions? And finally, but most importantly, could we save our fallen co-workers?

Communications Manager Dan Kolbet was given complete access to every aspect of the on-the-ground scenario, and captured the morning’s events on video. The video, “Avista Mock Electrical Accident,” tells the tale of the set-up, rationale and every step of the rescue process.

One key component of the mock electrical accident that is missing from the video is how our employees in Colville and Spokane performed when alerted of the surprise event. Many employees noted how real the process felt and that it created a few hours of tense work. Dozens of employees, from many departments came together in support of the crew on the ground from the initial call through the implementation of our Business Continuity Plan.

The event has been hailed as a success throughout the company for its breadth and depth, and for providing critical lessons that could only have been learn through such a challenging, yet simple scenario.
Posted by  System Account  on  5/12/2010
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