We Energies safety experts were a hit during the CBS 58 Milwaukee Brewers Weather Day at American Family Field April 20. Nearly 3,000 school-aged children from throughout Wisconsin and Illinois received valuable information about staying safe around energy equipment – especially during severe weather.
The triple play combination of employees from electric operations, natural gas operations and damage prevention, touched all the bases by sharing the importance of staying safe above and below ground, no matter the weather conditions.
And what would a trip to the ballpark be without a hot dog? On this day, however, the favorite ballpark food provided a valuable lesson instead of a tasty treat.
Employee Mark Schmidt picked up a hot dog with insulated tongs and explained the similarities it has to people: “Both have water, salt and meat.” He then touched the hot dog to live wires – cooking it from the inside out within seconds. The visibly astonished students quickly realized the importance of avoiding electric wires and equipment.
Schmidt’s demonstration took place on a small-scale model of a street with homes, businesses, cars and people to show how each might come into contact with power equipment.
Students stood in long lines to connect fuses at a simulator that demonstrated what happens when the lights go out. They then restored power with the watchful eye of Employee Dave Harris who could be seen giving high fives to possible future line workers.
Employee John Feider, Tim Burke and Brett Norder made a pitch for natural gas safety. They displayed gas pipes that had been struck by lightning and explained that natural gas is colorless and odorless until an odorant is added. The smell, which is similar to rotten eggs or sulfur, helps detect leaks. Students learned that if they smell that odor, they need to leave the area immediately and then call for help.
During employee Andrew LaTona’s turn at bat, students were surprised to learn that any digging in their backyards, whether for a garden, a fire pit or a post for a basketball hoop, can damage underground equipment, which can be dangerous or even deadly. To help hit his messages home he handed out coloring sheets that showed happy puppies digging and the important message that calling 811 at least three days before digging projects can prevent accidents from happening.
To continue to quench the students thirst for safe digging knowledge. Students were provided a water bottle that reminded them about the lessons they learned that will keep them and their families safe at home.