Project Blue Eagle students in the Shawnee Mission School District recently participated in a presentation and demonstration of the importance of safety around electrical power sources. Project Blue Eagle is the Shawnee Mission School District’s public safety Signature Program.
The training was provided by Tim Boswell, lead safety coordinator at Evergy.
Firefighters, police officers, and paramedics are often first on the scene in an emergency and can face risks from electrical hazards. It is critical first responders understand electricity when they encounter situations like a fallen tree branch on a line or a car that has crashed into a utility pole, shared Boswell.
During the presentation, students learned the basics of electricity and what first responders need to know when assessing a scene that involves an electrical hazard.
After the classroom presentation, students moved to the Evergy Educational Trailer, a mobile high-voltage powerline used to safely demonstrate the dangers of contacting overhead and underground electrical lines.
Using the trailer, Evergy crew members demonstrated electrical arcs and showed how electricity can travel through items like a small tree branch, rubber tires, and mylar balloons.
Shawnee Mission West junior, Zach Meerdink, expressed appreciation for the instruction offered by the Project Blue Eagle program.
“We get a lot of hands-on training,” shared Meerdink. “It’s more advanced than I thought it would be,” he added.
Hands-on learning is a vital component of the program explained instructor Ed Morrison. “Being able to see something, do something, hear the sounds of the electricity are lessons that can’t be replaced,” explained Morrison.
By the conclusion of the demonstration, students had gained a greater understanding of the dangers electrical hazards can pose and how to handle them.
Remarking on the importance of first responders, Boswell shared a word of appreciation with the students and their instructors.
“There is no greater joy, satisfaction, or service that you can provide your community than to be part of emergency response,” stated Boswell. “Our hats are off to you.”