Met-Ed Protects the Protectors with Electrical Safety Demonstrations for Emergency Responders

met-ed safety demo

It is not every day that Met-Ed line crews get the chance to bring their live-wire safety demonstration on wheels to one of the nation’s premier trade shows catering to first responders to showcase the latest equipment and rescue techniques.

“Met-Ed has been great, offering to come here and show our first responders how to stay safe around electric wires with their safety trailer,” said Jacque Creamer, Chairperson of the PA Fire Expo hosted recently by the Lancaster County Firemen’s Association at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. 

And while not every one of the Expo’s 10,000 visitors witnessed one of Met-Ed’s four safety demonstrations, Creamer said he was certain that those who did would spread the word among their brethren of how electrical facilities can pose potentially deadly dangers.

“If we save one life, it’s worth it,” he said. 

Met-Ed’s custom-built safety trailer is the perfect tool to safely highlight both the visible and hidden dangers of electricity. First responders routinely encounter many of the dangerous real-life scenarios depicted by the trailer: aluminum ladders accidentally contacting live wires; a car door energized by fallen wires; and a metal shovel striking an underground power cable.

Tim Rahn, Manager of Operations for Met-Ed’s York region said people, including first responders, oftentimes think that if a power line is on the ground, it’s not energized or dangerous. 

“It’s second nature to want to rush in to help victims in a car crash, but everyone needs to assume that any wire on the ground is live and energized. They need to stay at least 30 feet away – about the length of a school bus,” he said.

Some simple steps to keep firefighters safe from overhead power lines include: 

  • Surveying the area for overhead or fallen power lines upon arrival at any incident scene.

  • Parking emergency vehicles as far from any electric lines as possible. 

  • Using a spotter to monitor the placement of ladders and aerial equipment to ensure they remain a safe distance away from lines when fully extended.

Brian Kriebel, Captain of Upper Salford Township Fire Police in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, has lost count of how many fire and vehicle-accident scenes involving downed power lines he has rolled up to over the years. 

“The one thing I don’t understand is how the electricity gets into the ground,” he said.

Rahn explained that electricity always looks for a path to enter the ground, rendering any spot where live wires lay on the ground energized and extremely dangerous.  

“I learned today I never want to mess around with power lines,” Kriebel said.

Safety trailer demonstrations for first responders are just one component of FirstEnergy’s “Stop. Look. Live.” corporate safety campaign to help educate the public and keep people safe from live wires and other electrical hazards. For more safety tips, including videos, please visit  Stop. Look. Live. (

Last Modified: June 4, 2024