Pike Electric personnel provide a high voltage demonstration and explain to Garrison and Directorate of Emergency Services attendees how to safely respond to different types of incidents. (U.S. Army photo by Christine Luciano, DPW Environmental)
Pike Electric personnel provide a high voltage demonstration and explain to Garrison and Directorate of Emergency Services attendees how to safely respond to different types of incidents. (U.S. Army photo by Christine Luciano, DPW Environmental) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT CAVAZOS, Texas — Fort Cavazos’ firefighters, law enforcement and Directorate of Public Works technicians are the first to respond to emergency situations. When high-voltage electricity, a down power line, power outage or a gas leak is involved, this can present both visible and hidden hazards.

“The installation does a number of safety focused initiatives throughout the year, like the inaugural installation-wide Safety Day at Phantom Warrior Stadium this past May,” said TC Coffman, DPW Safety program manager. “This was the inspiration to focus safety training for our first responders and show them what the utility experts are doing when there is an outage or a natural gas leak, how to identify the hazards associated with our utilities and what to do to protect themselves and the public.”

In an effort to train first responders from the Fort Cavazos Directorate of Emergency Services, and DPW Operations and Maintenance Division personnel, Dominion Energy and Pike Electric partnered with DPW Safety to host the inaugural First Responders’ Safety Awareness Day Dec. 7 here.

“Fort Cavazos fire and law enforcement are here with our garrison partners, Dominion and Pike to learn what everyone does in an emergency,” said Kyle Hudson, fire inspector for the Fort Cavazos Fire Department. “This helps to foster a cohesive working relationship with one another, and it is a great opportunity for us to come out and meet each other.”

More than 150 Garrison team members from DPW, DES and the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security turned out for a series of presentations that highlighted flood awareness, fire extinguisher training, natural gas, unexploded ordinances, service vehicle load plans, I360 and the Army Safety

and Occupational Health Management System.

“With the help of DPW Safety and Garrison, we were able to make this event happen,” said Bryan Pethel, superintendent for Dominion Energy. “This will be an annual event with responders because technology is changing and power infrastructure is expanding, and with that, safety concerns evolve.”

Dustin Shuffler, occupational health and safety specialist for Fort Cavazos Garrison Safety, discusses the hazards of unexploded ordinances to Directorate of Public Works personnel during the First Responders' Safety Day. (U.S. Army photo by Christine Luciano, DPW Environmental)
Dustin Shuffler, occupational health and safety specialist for Fort Cavazos Garrison Safety, discusses the hazards of unexploded ordinances to Directorate of Public Works personnel during the First Responders' Safety Day. (U.S. Army photo by Christine Luciano, DPW Environmental) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Among one of the biggest attractions at the event was a high voltage demonstration that explained how to safely respond to incidents involving high-voltage electricity and procedures for working safely around power lines.

“This demonstration provides our DPW technicians and damage assessment personnel, and DES fire and law enforcement responders an understanding of the hazards, when we have significant damage to infrastructure,” Coffman said. “Being able to recognize the hazards and appropriate controls and safe practices to ensure not only are they safe, but also the individuals they assist.”

With the motto ‘Be F.A.S.T.,’ (flexible, accountable, safe, teammate), Pethel explained how Dominion Energy cultivates a culture safety that extends beyond their footprint and across the community.

“As a team, you have to be flexible, accountable, safe, and a teammate. If you follow the core principles, of Be F.A.S.T., you have a successful day every day and everyone goes home the way they came to work — safe,” Pethel said. “Keeping first responders and garrison team members current on safety protocols helps keep our Soldiers, their families and the people who work at Cavazos safe on an everyday basis.”