MASSENA — Club members at the Police Activities League of Massena got some insight into the Massena Electric Department’s operations when MED representatives visited the clubhouse for hands-on demonstrations.
“We’re showing the kids some of the tools we use to do the job, stressing the importance of safety,” Massena Electric Department Superintendent Andrew J. McMahon said. “We’re going to show them a little demo and show them various pieces of equipment that, when you look up at the sky, here’s what you’re seeing. We’re going to send one of our linemen up to put his hooks on. We’ve got a bucket that can get them up to work on things.”
As the club members gathered around after enjoying a pizza lunch, he guided them to an area in the parking lot where Massena Electric Department equipment had been set up. Among those taking part in the demonstrations was Tommie Love, a MED lineman, who discussed personal protective equipment and some of the typical equipment MED has in its service territory, which allows them to safely and reliably serve the Massena community.
“As Mr. McMahon said, there are certain things we have to wear when we’re doing our job. The most important thing that we wear every day is a hard hat,” Mr. Love said. “Sometimes accidents happen and we drop something. We try not to, but when accidents happen, these are nice to have on so it doesn’t hurt you.”
“There are a lot of guys working up above, so when you’re working on the ground, you don’t want to get doinked in the head,” Mr. McMahon said.
Gloves were also an integral piece of equipment, Mr. Love said.
“We don’t use our bare hands when we’re up in the air because everything either has chemicals on it that we can get on our skin or we get slivers or metal. You can see Evan Raymo over there. He’s wearing a pair of leather gloves. We all have a pair of gloves similar to that and we wear those all day to protect our hands,” he said.
Mr. Love also explained how much voltage was running through some of MED’s wires, anywhere from 4,800 volts to 23,900 volts.
“That’s why we say do not touch them if they’re on the ground,” he said.
Electricity flows from a substation, Mr. Love said.
“If you ever do see a substation, it has a big fence around it,” he said. “Do not go in it.”
He explained how electricity is generated from the substation to the transformer to the power line, and along the way, changes it to 120 volts for use in households. A meter attached to the house indicates how much electricity is being used.
“The more numbers that are on there, the more they have to pay us,” Mr. Love said.
MED’s presentation was part of a full summer schedule at PAL that also includes beach days, field trips and other programming at the clubhouse.