The Edmond Sun

June 13, 2013

OG&E employees compete Thursday

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Crews from OG&E plants participated in a combination training and competition event Thursday at the Edmond Fire Department’s regional training facility.

The electric utility sponsored its 2013 Confined Space Rodeo, during which teams of OG&E crews rotated through rescue scenarios involving the Fire Department’s five-story tower, a confined space tunnel and a confined space trailer.

OG&E Plant Manger Tony Shook said the event provided training for the teams so they can share knowledge. They were judged by Oklahoma State University’s Fire Service Training representatives on every aspect of a rescue including patient care, on rigging and on the safety of the employees, Shook said.

University representative Nick Swainston was at the five-story tower, briefing teams on the rescue scenario.

It involved securing and lowering an adult “victim,” using skills including rappelling with a backboard. Teams also raised a “victim” through the top of the department’s 53-foot SCBA maze trailer, which was purchased using federal grant funds.

“You see them dressed out; they have this gear at every plant, some of the best money can buy,” Shook said. “We use that to do operations within our facilities.”

Shook thanked Edmond Fire Maj. Joe Elam for his work in helping make the event happen.

Elam said every OG&E power plant has its own technical rescue team which utilizes skills like those honed during Thursday’s event.

Trained with a team out of a Luther-area plant developed into a long-standing relationship, Elam said.

OG&E teams get to train and compete at the EFD facility and OG&E has donated several items to the city including a caged ladder the utility will install on the side of the training tower using a crane that is not cheap, Elam said.

Elam said the department has its different tools  because of the generosity of Edmond citizens.  

Edmond Fire Chief Jake Rhoades said the event is a good example of how the department’s training site, located near I-35 and Covell, is being used by other fire departments and organizations from the private sector. The event was a way to showcase both the fire department and Edmond, Rhoades said. | 341-2121 ext. 108