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HMLP Brings Electrical Safety to Local Children

John Tzimorangas, right, General Manager of the Hingham Municipal Lighting Plant shakes hands with
Safety Consultant Ray Gouley, left.

The Hingham Municipal Lighting Plant (HMLP) has recently completed a school children electric safety program to increase electrical safety in our community. HMLP is working with Ray Gouley, safety consultant, in order to raise awareness about electrical safety at the elementary level. The R.F. Gouley Company is certified to provide educational safety programs for power companies all over the United States. Mr. Gouley recently spoke about electrical safety to public school students in grades K-5 at Plymouth River, Foster and South Elementary Schools in September and October of this year.

When Ray Gouley talks about electrical safety, 1,800 Hingham kids listen. Gouley presents a lively, age appropriate presentation conducted in individual classrooms which includes visual aids, booklets, certificates, and posters. A different theme, message and approach is varied to cater to different ages and grades.

Gouley uses different mascots to connect with the different age groups. Mr. Ouch brings the safety message to preschool, kindergarten and first grade students. Kato the Safety Ranger, The Shocking Truth, and Volton are among other characters that provide education information to students grade 2-5.

"For all grades, I emphasize three things,"says Gouley. "You can't see electricity, you can't hear electricity, and you can't smell it. That's why you should stay away from downed power lines."

John Tzimorangas, General Manager provides Plymouth River kindergarteners an up close look at
an HMLP Linetruck.

One component of the program involves using utility trucks to demonstrate the special design of the truck, the safety equipment and safety procedures used by line personnel, and the purpose of the orange cones children often see on streets and highways. HMLP was able to provide Plymouth River students with an up close look at an electrical linetruck.

Although the program is designed to be cumulative, with each year building on the previous years, each unit works independently by addressing the most dangerous activities children engage in at specific ages. "For example", says Gouley, "toddlers and young children tend to put electrical cords in their mouths; pre-adolescent are tempted to climb into substations and trees." He feels that it is important to connect with the children at a level that they understand.

"Electricity and water don't mix, so I urge kids who see a hair dryer near water to tell their parents and have the hair dryer moved, " he says. Older kids in the fourth grade, some of whom have started to use electric air dryers, are told not to use them above sinks or other wet areas.

Mr. David Whiting, Assistant Principal at the Plymouth River School is very familiar with the program and has been very pleased with the way that the program is run. "This program is teaching these kids about safety and electricity and it helps the children to identify a hazard and keep our kids safe in the community." stated Mr. Whiting.

"Safety within our community is important to HMLP. We are pleased to be able to offer this type of a school-based educational program to raise awareness of the dangers of electricity." says John G. Tzimorangas, General Manager of the Hingham Municipal Light Department. Tzimorangas plans to work with Gouley in order to continue with further programs next year.

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