According to Entergy Safety Specialist Jesse Slaven, an electric arc can heat up to 10,000 degrees in 10 seconds. This is why tree limbs on power lines can "burn down" aluminum distribution lines and cause green limbs to burn. Hydraulic hoses on backhoes, tractors, and boom trucks have a steel core covered in rubber. When they ignite, the hydraulic system can spew fire great distances. Please stay 25 feet or more away from downed power lines.
First responders need info Emergency first responders are responsible for the safety of others and for themselves and they need the best information possible in order to maintain a safe environment.
That's why Entergy recently held a seminar on the dangers of electricity.
"Emergency responders are people that like to help people. They like to give assistance; and when you've done a job like that long enough you become a helper," said Jim Lyles Entergy customer service representative.
Look first "A lot of times you can get in a situation, you see an accident, you go up there and you want to assist that person. Well we've tried to teach them some principles to look before they jump in and assist so they can identify potential hazards with electricity. It will help them around the house, on the job, and in the community."
With a total of four seminars Senior Safety Specialist Jesse Slaven taught first responders advice to use in situations involving electrical hazards. Policemen, firemen, emergency medical technicians, and public works employees of Grenada and other counties attended each seminar.
"We try to invite as many people as possible. Our desire in this is to give people the tools to identify these hazards. Jesse has 33 years of experience in this business. He didn't come about all this knowledge over a short period of time," said Lyles. "It's impractical for us to make experts of every lay person that might come in contact with this situation.
Coach responders So we want to identify those people who will be on the scene; who can coach people and who have the authority to have people respond appropriately when there's an emergency situation."
According to Slaven electricity should be respected and not feared. When used in the correct manner electricity works as a useful part of everyday life. But Slaven says that even household uses of electricity can pose a threat if not used correctly.
"The number one killer, when it comes to voltage is 120 volts. When you walk into your house you're surrounded by it," said Slaven. "120 volts is the number one killer, because it's the most common voltage out there. You use it in your power tools, you use it in your house; I mean you just use a 120 volts a lot."
Call for info. Entergy advises anyone that has a question or concern to call 1-800-ENTERGY (800-368-3749). Lyles said now that tornado season has arrived electrical concerns range from power outages, downed electrical lines, and the proper use of generators.
"Our interest in this program is to not only help the first responders as they go on the job and encounter situations. To help them identify potentially hazardous situations," said Lyles. "As you can image, one of our most important responsibilities is to protect the safety of the general public."