First Responders Learn Electrical Fire Safety From the Pros
The Inland Empire Labor Management Cooperation Committee, the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) are sponsoring a series of informative classes devoted to electrical safety for first responders to emergency situations. Rick Purper the Training Director for the NECA/IBEW Apprenticeship & Journeyman Training Program in San Bernardino stated, ”the three hour courses cover material such as how to handle an arc flash, how to prevent electrical shock and things to look for when approaching a dangerous situation involving electrical power”.
According to Sherri Laffey the Executive Director of the Burn Institute-Inland Empire, “each year several first responders are injured on the job due to electrical shock”. Electricity can cause burns, shock, explosions and fire. Often times a first responder such as a fire fighter or police officer arrives at a scene and is unaware of the circumstances and potential hazards. It’s important for them to know what to do when working around photovoltaic cells, what to do about electrical switch gear in the event of a fire and when it is safe to render aid to someone in close proximity to energized conductors. These classes are provided free of charge to first responders.
“Working together to energize the Inland Empire,” NECA and IBEW sponsored the first classes given to the Redlands Fire Department. “The opportunity to learn from the NECA/IBEW experts in electrical safety is one no fire department can afford to miss,” says Fire Chief Jeff Frazier. Electricity is a scary beast because you can’t see it, you can’t smell it and you don’t even have to touch it, sometimes just being too close is enough for it to jump out and get you.
David Shankle Executive Vice-President of National Association of Electrical Contactors (NECA) stated “Eventually we would like to open the program up to police officers, EMTs and other first responders throughout the Inland Empire”. He went on to say “these first responders only get one first chance to approach a dangerous situation, helping educate them will help them make the right choices”.