Macon Electric Cooperative Hosts Tree Felling Training for Missouri Linemen
Restoring power quickly and safely during an outage is a top priority at Macon Electric Cooperative. In the field, many linemen are tasked with safely removing trees during outages in order to restore power in the most efficient manner possible. In addition to outage situations, linemen will often remove possibly hazardous trees in order to maintain the cooperative’s Right of Way. This can help to prevent future outages from taking place.
Teaming up with the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives (AMEC), MEC hosted 28 linemen from across Missouri for a Tree Felling training program from October 16th through the 18th. Three MEC linemen attended the training: Rick Farmer, Ron Shepherd, and Robert Richardson . This three-day course provided hands-on training which covered a variety of subjects including chainsaw safety and maintenance, delimbing, felling, tree hazards and rescue, and much more. Joe Glenn with Timber Harvest Training of Piedmont, Missouri was the instructor for the program.
The majority of the training was held near Thomas Hill Lake on land provided by Associated Electric Cooperative, where the trainees could safely practice the skills. On the first day of the event, the trainees discussed the Personal Protective Equipment required for this type of work and reviewed chainsaw basics. They practiced making basic chainsaw cuts and began their discussion of tree felling, including the pre-planning process. Tree felling is the practice of taking down individual trees. Lineman are required to do this occasionally to restore an outage during a storm or to maintain Right of Way throughout the year.
By the end of the second morning of the training, each trainee has successfully analyzed, pre-planned and felled trees for score. At the end of the day, they were able to practice delimbing and bucking a tree. Bucking is the process of cutting a felled and delimbed tree. Finally, the trainees were encouraged to work together using their new skills to remove a tree from a fake power line. On the third and final day of the training, the trainees discussed different types of storm damage, selecting the correct saw package and saw maintenance.
“Safely restoring power is our top priority during an outage. This training allows our linemen to efficiently remove hazardous trees during a storm. The skills learned also allow us to properly fell trees in order to maintain our Right of Way throughout the year,” stated Dan Ulhorn, MEC Safety and Training Coordinator.