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COLLEGE STATION — Six weeks of hurricane wrath has left millions of Americans without power, forcing utility companies in the Southeast to search nationwide for technicians who can restore electricity in damaged areas. Training such technicians is a major focus of the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) as it hosts the 28th Electric Power Annual School Oct. 4-7 at the Texas A&M University Riverside Campus.

Repairing damaged power systems after catastrophic events can be extremely dangerous — even fatal — and requires extensive training, said Tony Alotto, the school’s program manager.

“Electric line technicians routinely work in the worst of weather and disaster conditions,” Alotto said. “In an industry that does not allow mistakes, the training we provide allows technicians to perform the dangerous work efficiently to give Americans the gift of electric power.”

The school offers courses ranging from basic wood pole climbing techniques to aerial distribution work on multiple-phase circuits, which includes repairing or maintaining electricl power systems without disrupting the electrical flow to certain geographical areas.

In addition to the school, TEEX will host a free Electric Power Tool and Equipment Show Thursday, Oct. 7, from 9 a.m.-noon. A unique event in the Southwest, the show attracts managerial, supervisory and purchasing representatives from throughout the electric power industry. More than a million dollars worth of equipment was displayed last year. Most of the equipment, such as pressure diggers, digger derricks and tension stringing equipment, is used during the Electric Power Annual School.

TEEX, a member of The Texas A&M University System, offers hands-on, customized training exercises, technical assistance and technology transfer services impacting Texas and beyond. 

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Kathy Fraser

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