MVEA Hosted Live Wires & First Responders

Falcon, CO – August 24, 2023 — Mountain View Electric Association (MVEA) hosted Live Wires and First Responders on Wednesday, August 23. The event took place at MVEA's Office in Falcon and was held in collaboration with Falcon Fire Protection District.

With safety as a paramount concern for MVEA, the co-op has forged partnerships with first responders and community organizations to ensure public safety in incidents involving electricity. Terryl Jensen, MVEA Vice President of Operations, emphasized the significance of this event, stating, “By collaborating with first responders, we are able to effectively communicate how we prioritize public safety during power-related accidents, while also acquainting attending first responders with our electric crews and the valuable resources we can offer.”

During this engaging event, MVEA provided live electrical emergency demonstrations tailored for first responders. Demonstrations aimed at showcasing effective responses to electrical emergencies and promoted heightened safety awareness in such situations.

Initially, attendees listened to Bill Hottel, a lineman at United Power, and Rebecca Garber, Nurse Practitioner at the Burn and Reconstructive Center, who talked about their firsthand experience with Bill’s 7,200-volt electric shock, an accident that occurred several years ago. Bill shared his account with the attendees, describing how he was airlifted to the burn center in Greeley in critical condition following the incident where Rebecca was his responding nurse. The group also observed MVEA’s high-voltage demonstration trailer in action. Utilizing the trailer, MVEA lineworkers showcased electric arcs, various types of power line equipment, and used hot dogs and grapefruits to illustrate the potential effects on a person's body and heart in the event of electrical contact. Attendees then witnessed a pole-top rescue demonstration, complete with a simulated incident scenario. The simulation commenced with the "electrical contact" of a training mannequin. Simulated emergency calls were made prompting an MVEA lineworker to ascend the power pole for the rescue mission. The Falcon Fire Protection District also responded to the staged emergency call.

“It was wonderful to see so many first responders from agencies throughout the region come together for this event,” Jensen said. “When we work together and learn from one another, the outcome is a safer community. That’s the overwhelming goal for everyone who participated in Live Wires and First Responders.”