Power line cutting ceremony marks opening of Iowa power line training field

A ceremonial power line wire cutting ceremony May 18 marked the opening of Midland Power Cooperative’s new power line training field. Midland Power’s line crew were joined by Mike Wright (holding the wire cutter), Midland Power’s safety coordinator, and John Dvorak (next to Wright), Iowa Association of Electric Cooperative’s safety director.


A ribbon cutting ceremony commonly marks the opening of a new business, building or structure. So it’s only fitting that Midland Power Cooperative, a Basin Electric Class C member located in Jefferson, IA, opened its new power line training field with a ceremonial cutting of a power line.

Safety is job #1 for linemen, and the 5.5-acre power line training field is the co-op’s investment in its strong safety culture and the continued safety of its linemen, especially the younger linemen newer to the industry.

“Safety is an integral part of our mission at Midland Power, and we hope to make it a way of life all day, every day, for each of our employees,” said Bill McKim, CEO, Midland Power.
The training field features various distribution power line infrastructure equipment and has the capability of being energized for true-to-life work experience.

It includes three-phase and single-phase distribution power lines constructed using both overhead and underground lines, multiple types of metering, and areas for trenching, boring and performing underground locating, as well as a pole climbing area. The co-op also plans to add an area that features an interconnected distributed generation system.

“This new facility will be an excellent resource for training our workforce on scenarios for distribution power lines that exist across our service area,” said Mike Wright, safety coordinator, Midland Power. “From underground lines, overhead lines, multiple meters, onsite generators and various other scenarios, our crews – new hires as well as accomplished lineman – need to prepare and practice for what they might encounter on the job.”

The training field will not only benefit Midland Power, but will also be available to others for education, training and/or testing purposes. It will also be used as a resource for electrical safety demonstrations.

This facility was made possible through Midland Power Cooperative’s commitment to safety and training, along with collaboration from the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperative, and support from the following industry vendors:

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