Carroll Electric sparks learning for C4 students

Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Billy Bruegel with Carroll Electric Cooperative demonstrates how to put on and use a tree climbing harness on Wednesday, Sept. 26, for Connect 4 students at the Carroll County Career Center in Berryville.
Photo by Tavi Ellis/Carroll County News

Local industries are pitching in to help students in the Connect 4 program gain experience, and Carroll Electric Cooperative helped light up the classroom on Wednesday, Sept. 26.

Carroll Electric safety manager Randy Hooten and crewmen Michah Tharp, Jordan Parton and Billy Bruegel guided the students through safety protocols, the different harnesses worn to climb towers, poles or trees and even a high voltage simulation.

“All of us are in our own little specialized part of Carroll Electric,” Tharp said. “I do all of the communications, so tower climbing and fall and rest systems are really what we’re going to talk about.”

“I’m organizing the lineman side of it with the high voltage stuff,” Parton said, “and we’re going to do the demonstration out there and talk about it.”

“I’m going to talk about tree climbing and bucket truck stuff,” Bruegel said.

“We’re going to talk about the differences between pole climbing, tower climbing and tree climbing,” Parton said. “We all have specialized equipment for each.”

“Every harness is set up for different tasks,” Bruegel said. “You can’t use one harness for the other task. Everything is specialized.”

Hooten started off the lesson by going over fall restraints from handrails to harnesses.

Tharp, Parton and Bruegel then took turns showing how to put on the different harnesses for pole climbing, tower climbing and tree climbing. They passed each harness around so the students could get a sense of the weight.

Tharp explained how the straps of the harnesses are designed to have wear indicators, which have a second color sewn into the inside of the straps to show wear and tear. Any time a new color is visible on one of the straps, he said, it is time to replace them. The same is true for any time someone falls while wearing the harness. The harnesses are designed to absorb the shock of the fall, he said, but once they have taken a shock, they are no longer suitable for use.

Tharp said Carroll Electric was excited to be invited to lead the lesson for the Connect 4 program.

“We want to do anything we can for the community,” he said. “We’re glad we had the opportunity to come demonstrate what we do. We don’t normally do stuff like this, and it was cool that they picked us to come do it.”

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