WARREN — Elected officials, DTE Energy representatives and leadership of the National Electrical Contractors Association and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers unveiled the new Storm Watch Training Lab during the “The Future is Electric” open house Monday, at the IBEW-NECA Electrical Industry Training Center in Warren.

The Storm Watch Training Lab was developed in collaboration with DTE Energy to prepare IBEW Local 58 electricians to quickly restore power and contain electrical hazards for homeowners specifically in the wake of natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy.

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The program includes three days of classroom and hands-on training resulting in certification once the course is successfully completed.

The program includes training in these areas:
* Quick Responders – Report to undocumented site to inspect for safety hazards and tape and standby if needed. Relieve police and fire at a downed wire hazard.
* Triagers – Report to downed wire location and report back to field supervisor on extent of damage and what is needed to make repairs.
* Public safety – Tape downed wire area and standby for public safety.
* Residential service restoration – Repair meter and service drop to restore customer power permanently or temporarily.

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Beau Burton, an instructor at the EITC, said the new training program is a win-win-win for DTE Energy, union electricians and electric customers. DTE gets to use the trained labor pool to get the lights back on quicker, electricians get more work, and customers get their lights back on faster.

The EITC is a joint effort of the Southeast Michigan Chapter of NECA and Local 58 of the IBEW union.

Said Michael Richard, business manager for IBEW Local 58: “IBEW Local 58 electricians and NECA contractors have long supported communities after weather disasters. This program will expand our ability to respond to emergencies all over the country, specifically for homeowners coordinated through NECA contractor J. Ranck Electric and DTE Energy.”

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