00:00 AM

Perspective: Let's Go Fly a Kite

Kites have a lot of significance for us in the electricity business. Benjamin Franklin’s experiment in 1752 involving a kite, a key and a string confirmed the relationship between lightning and static electricity. Whether Franklin actually held the groundend of that kite was the subject of a recent MythBusters episode where their experiment showed if he had, he would not have lived to tell the world about it.

That’s another significant fact kites teach us about electricity; it can be dangerous. Electricity helps us live our lives comfortably, but we have to be safe around power lines and electrical equipment. Safety around power lines, whether with a kite or a ladder, is a very big deal to us, both for our employees and our members.

Frequently, we are in the communities we serve educating our members about the risks of electric shock. Through Power Town and our new safety trailer demonstration, we teach citizens as well as EMTs and First Responders about electrical safety risks. We also have resources online to help you learn to be safe around electricity, including a Power Town video.

Electricity makes much of this cooperative’s work dangerous. To keep us and our members safe, we engage in monthly safety classes, learning about everything from hazardous waste and safe driving to CPR and updated safety standards for our linemen. We are currently conducting new pole safety trainings, implementing the use of the newest harness technology – the Buckingham SuperSqueezeTM – to keep our guys safe while they work on the lines.

Our linemen work in dangerous conditions to keep our lights on every day. One of the many keys to their safety is that they look out for one another. Together, they spend countless hours suspended over a truck in a bucket, packed deep in the cab of a truck, stacked clinging to a pole or up to their ears deep in a ditch. In those tight situations, they grow close fast. Like a band of brothers, a feeling of family is just part of life in a cooperative.

Safety is critical, but arguably the most important lesson we can learn from a kite is to enjoy life. Jim Collins wrote in his book, Good to Great, “It is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work.” I agree. I believe if you are lucky enough to do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.

I’m going to go get my kite right now. I hope you do too. And if you do find time to catch a kite in the wind, fly high – but not too close to the power lines!