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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Linemen train at new Mac facility

  • Linemen from across the state gathered Oct. 2 through 4 in McPherson for Kansas Municipal Utilities' 2nd Annual Hotline School in a newly completed training facility.
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  • Linemen from across the state gathered Oct. 2 through 4 in McPherson for Kansas Municipal Utilities' 2nd Annual Hotline School in a newly completed training facility.
    With almost 40 linemen representing 20 municipal electric utilities, Kansas Municipal Utilities Director of Job Training and Safety Rick Aguilar said the event was a resounding success.
    "The goal of the event was to enable personnel the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills as municipal lineworkers," Aguilar said. "This was the first event at our new training campus, and it was a very good beginning for the development of this new facility."
    Participants arrived on the first day to see the newly constructed overheard electric distribution system, which had been built the previous week.
    Participants were assigned to crews that were given scenarios, each simulating how to work in an active, "hot" environment.
    Each crew's tasks and scenarios were directed by journey-level lineworkers and crew leaders from across the association.
    Participants came from as far away as Goodland and Hugoton, two thirds of which had five years or less experience in the field.
    Aguilar said this is just the beginning for the new training campus.
    "This will be a facility of different programs," Aguilar said. "These guys are just getting in on the ground floor. More utilities will eventually have a presence here."
    Aguilar said that training campus has been long in coming, with a decade of planning behind it.
    "We're looking forward to developing this controlled environment," Aguilar said, "where lineman can learn and hone their craft, and take these skills back to their communities."
    Contact Jeremy Webster by email at jwebster@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow him on Twitter @WebsterSentinel.
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