Penn College hosts PPL electrical safety exhibit

PPL Electric Utilities recently offered a Live Line Electrical Safety Exhibit and demonstration for students and first responders at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

PPL, a Corporate Tomorrow Maker partner of the college, takes its mobile electrical safety exhibit across its service territory to teach first responders, contractors, businesses, school students and the public about the dangers of live wires and how to stay safe around them.

The exhibit is a scaled-down 7,200-volt electrical distribution system that features live electrical wires, utility poles and transformers. It was designed in 2016 by representatives from across PPL Electric Utilities’ operations who met in PPL’s Innovation Lab to brainstorm ways to present the information. PPL provides 100 such demonstrations to more than 10,000 people annually.

At the Sept. 15 event at Penn College, PPL’s Doug Haupt, supervisor of public safety, and Steve Krause, public safety specialist, demonstrated in two one-hour sessions what occurs when ladders, gloves, shovels and other items come into contact with live electrical lines. They also provided the proper procedures to follow when these situations are encountered.

“This exhibit was put together to educate our first responders, our contractors and our customers about the dangers of working near electrical facilities,” Haupt explained.

Total attendance was more than 100 for the day. Penn College students from electrical, construction, machining, welding, electronics and paramedics programs were invited, with more than 40 attending each demonstration. In addition, more than 20 first responders from Lycoming County, including local firefighters and paramedics, attended the demonstrations.

“PPL Electric Utilities and Pennsylvania College of Technology have a long-standing relationship of supporting each other,” said Tracie Witter, regional affairs director. “From PPL employees who are graduates of the college to our foundation providing funding for programs such as Penn College NOW and the mechatronics program, PPL believes in a thriving future workforce. Our team appreciates the opportunity to share the important electrical safety messages with students. Our hope is that they learned valuable lessons and share the message with others.”

“Having a resource like the PPL Live Line Electrical Safety Exhibit available to our campus and local community is a great way to showcase the hazards associated with the transmission of electricity around our area, not only at a higher voltage but even at the lower levels found in our homes,” said Eric W. Newcomer, instructor of electrical technologies and occupations. “Thanks to all the Penn College students, faculty, staff and administration; the Williamsport Bureau of Fire; and all the off-campus visitors that stopped by to see the demonstrations. We are looking forward to PPL’s return visit for the spring semester on Monday, April 18.”

“Penn College is proud to have PPL Electric Utilities as a Corporate Tomorrow Maker partner and greatly appreciates its commitment to our college and community,” said Chris S. Macdonald, assistant director of corporate relations. “This exhibit provides valuable knowledge that can help save lives. We would like to thank the PPL team for offering these powerful presentations to our students, faculty and local first responders.”


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