It’s never quite as simple as “grab your gear, get a truck and go,” but co-op officials say the mutual aid response to Hurricane Irene is the muscle that’s making a difference during widespread power restoration efforts.
“Cooperative lineworkers receive identical training nationwide, which helps to streamline restoration efforts,” said Jane Pritchard, director of corporate communications at the North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives. “Our crews are able to enter another cooperative’s service areas and work side-by-side with local lineworkers.”
That training, coupled with system construction and operating procedures designed to comply with Rural Utilities Service standards, means electric co-op systems share physical characteristics familiar to co-op lineworkers.
That way, they can quickly join restoration efforts when they arrive in another co-op’s service territory.