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Cobb EMC helps out with a high-wire rescue

COMPILED BY RACHELE MEADERS

This plane, en route from Cleveland, Ohio, to Peachtree City, didn’t make it, though its pilot and passenger survived. "The fire department, police— everybody— was going up above our lines to where the plane was hanging," says Tony Jordan of Cobb EMC.

It was about 10 o’clock on a cold December night when Tony Jordan, line maintenance superintendent for Cobb Electric Membership Corporation (EMC), received a strange call from dispatch: A single-engine plane was entangled in power lines in Kennesaw, and could Tony come out and help?

The plane, a Piper Warrior 2, was dangling 80 feet above ground. It had been running out of fuel when it crashed into a 230-kilovolt line— a mile and a half from the small airport where it was to replenish its gas supply. The plane came to rest, upside down, against a metal power pole; underneath were lines belonging to Cobb EMC. Before rescue attempts could be made, Jordan and three two-man EMC maintenance crews "had to isolate our three-phase line under where the plane was hanging," Jordan says.

Crew members at the scene were Gary Benton, Matt Brown, Keith Cook, Tyson Crabbe, Philip King and Richard Rutledge.

As a crowd of about 75 people watched, rescue workers— who spent five hours working in temperatures in the 20s– retrieved pilot Brian Hooker, 31, of Atlanta, and passenger Darryl Robinson, 25, of Marietta, in bucket trucks. Neither man was injured. "The men in the plane actually wanted to climb down the pole first, before we killed that section of the line," Jordan says. "We told them no." [The lines were live.]

"It was about 4 o’clock in the morning before they could get the plane down," he says. "They actually brought a crane in and put straps around the plane. Once we secured it with straps, the fire department got the men out and the crane operator extracted the plane.

"A lot of times we have to isolate a section of line when poles break," he adds, "but this was a first. I’ve been at Cobb EMC for 28 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this."



Planters EMC employee Stephen Milner

Planters EMC employee Stephen Milner, in a fine display of true manhood, reads to Hadley Harrison’s first-grade class as part of Waynesboro Primary School’s "Real Men Really Do Read" program. The school also hosts a reading program in which women participate, called "Just Us Girls," which takes place in the spring.

Forget ‘tough guys’— Planters EMC’s Milner can read

It’s common knowledge among elementary schoolchildren at Waynes-boro Primary School that in order to be a real man, you gotta read. Stephen Milner, technology tech-nician at Planters Electric Member- ship Corporation (EMC) in Millen, can boast true-man status: In November, Milner stopped by Hadley Harrison’s first-grade class to read to students as part of the school’s "Real Men Really Do Read" program.

Real Men Really Do Read began about five years ago under the direction of Frances Young, then lead teacher (and currently assistant principal).

"Many kids today are being brought up by single-parent homes," she points out. "This program helps men influence kids in a positive way." Approximately 70 local men participated in the program this year, taking time out to read a book in each classroom from pre-kindergarten through second grade.

"I enjoy going into the classroom and seeing the children— their bright faces, their energy and their receptiveness for learning," Milner says.

"Real Men Really Do Read shows them that reading is an important tool for any profession. Hopefully, men going into the classroom will give young boys a mentor, someone who they see and respect in their community, and we can influence and instill positive attitudes toward reading."



Rayle EMC trimmer crew members include (left to right) Frank Tankersley, Barrett Samuels and Milton Shelton.

Rayle EMC trimmer crew members include (left to right) Frank Tankersley, Barrett Samuels and Milton Shelton.

Publication lauds Rayle EMC’s ‘good neighbors’

Washington-based Rayle Electric Membership Corporation’s (EMC) right-of- way crew has been praised by Country Roads, a publication of the Oglethorpe County Chamber of Commerce, for doing "a great job picking up after themselves — you never see any trace of their being in the area"— no easy task, as Oglethorpe has more trees than any other Georgia county and Rayle EMC has a 10-county service area, which takes three years to clear.

It’s a task made easier since the EMC formed its right-of-way crew in 1983. In the 1950s, a Rayle crew cut brush and trees back from power lines with bush axes and bow saws from September through April. Under the direction of Roy Lee Ashmore, foreman, the crew leaves its cutting sites neat.

"It’s a real pleasure to watch Rayle EMC line-trimming crews display their good-neighbor side," the article states. The crew cuts a 30-foot right-of-way, spraying for vegetable management with an (environmentally friendly) herbicide. Trimmers are followed by a "chipper" truck.

"They do a very good job of clearing," says Tony Griffin, Rayle EMC line superintendent. "They are unsung heroes at Rayle EMC."

Crew members are Ashmore, Frank Hatcher, Wilbert Jones, Barrett Samuels, Milton Shelton, Frank Tankersley and Joe West.

 

March 2002

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