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First Responders

In an emergency, police, fire and ambulance personnel are first on the scene, often putting themselves in harm’s way to help others; however, when power lines are involved, the dangers faced by first responders aren’t always as obvious.

Know the Risks

If you’re an EMT or a member of the police force, RCMP or fire rescue unit, follow these steps to stay safe on the scene.

Always assume power lines are energized.

You can’t tell if a downed power line or piece of equipment is energized just by looking at it. Avoid danger by treating all power lines, underground transformers and anything in contact with them as energized.

When arriving on scene, park at least 10 metres away and stay put.

When you arrive on scene, park your vehicle at least 10 metres (33 feet) away from the downed line or damaged transformer. Stay in the safe zone until the utility service provider confirms it is safe to approach the scene.

Don’t become a victim yourself.

You won’t be able to help anyone if you’re injured or electrocuted. Never touch anything or anyone in contact with a downed power line, including injured or trapped victims, vehicles, trees, puddles or bodies of water.

Note: Guardrails, metal or barbed wire fences are excellent conductors of electricity, so always proceed with caution when working around them.

Stop traffic and keep people in the 10-metre safe zone.

Whether on foot or in a vehicle, coming into contact with a power line (or the energized area surrounding it) puts you at risk of being electrocuted. Pedestrians and motorists might not see a downed line or think it’s safe to drive over one, so always be sure to redirect traffic away from the scene and tell others to stay away.

Always call the local utility service provider.

Once you’ve secured the area, contact the local utility company to de-energize the line or transformer. A crew with proper training and equipment will arrive as soon as possible and will confirm when it’s safe to approach the scene.

Contact Map

Think power line contacts are few and far between? Think again.
See the overhead and underground contacts occurring near you.

The Joint Utility Safety Team (JUST) is a partnership between the following Alberta electric utilities with contributions from local municipalities, formed to address the frequency of power line contacts across the province.