A Special ‘Thank You’ for Greensburg Hazard Responders

Greensburg hazard responders were invited to an ice cream social to thank them for the contributions they make to restoring service to customers.

September 17, 2019

When a severe thunderstorm blows through a neighborhood in our service territory – sending tree  branches and power lines down across the street – the first person a customer may see as part of our service restoration process is a hazard responder.

Hazard responders are dispatched quickly during major storm restoration events to locations where there are reports of wires down or other damaged electrical equipment. Their main job is to set up a perimeter around the problem area to keep our customers and the public safe until a line crew arrives to ensure the equipment is deenergized or repaired.

The Greensburg (Pa.) Corporate Center came up with a unique way to recognize these dedicated employees and their efforts. Hazard responders who work in the Transmission & Substation Engineering Department at the facility were invited to an ice cream social to enjoy a sweet treat.

Mike Gogol and Ron Dombrosky, who serve as coordinators for the hazard responder group, hosted the event.

“We have about 40 hazard responders who work at the Greensburg office, and we wanted to acknowledge the contributions they make to restoring service to our customers,” said Mike, manager, Transmission Design. “Some of our employees have traveled as far away as New Jersey to assist JCP&L with restoration efforts, and we are thankful for their willingness to help out when needed.”

When the Emergency Operations Center calls on Mike and Ron to activate their team for a storm restoration event, the goal is to get 75% of their hazard responders to volunteer to help. Through five events so far in 2019, Greensburg has achieved an 80% response rate. This includes a callout that occurred on the New Year’s Day holiday.

“We can’t thank our employees enough for the commitment they have shown to our company and our customers,” said Ron, manager, Substation. “It’s not always possible for local line crews to address all trouble spots immediately following a storm, so we rely on our hazard responders to protect the public from electric hazards. If necessary, they will even knock on customers’ doors to alert them to stay clear of downed wires until one of our line crews can make the area safe.”

Jeff Kollar shows how a V-Watch is worn by hazard responders when they are responding to power outages in the field.



Did You Know?

FirstEnergy hazard responders wear a personal voltage detector – known as a V-Watch – to alert them to the presence of electrical fields or energized lines.

L. to r.: J.T. Horwat, Melissa Moore and Ed Jones build their own sundaes during the event.