MEUW Weekly :: April 28, 2020

New Mutual Aid Resource Guide now available: Based on member feedback, MEUW has developed a new guidebook to help members prepare for and manage a mutual aid event in their community. The Mutual Aid Community Resource Guide is available exclusively to MEUW members and can be accessed here (member login is required). 

“We know that when mutual aid is needed, it can be stressful and things can quickly seem disorganized because there are so many details to be coordinate,” said MEUW Manager of Safety Services Mike Czuprynko. “The Resource Guide our team has created is a ‘one-stop shop’ to help our members effectively plan for and manage a mutual aid event.”

The Resource Guide was developed based on lessons learned and member input following the large mutual-aid response in Wisconsin Rapids in July 2019. It includes various tools necessary for a well-coordinated mutual aid response, including defined roles and responsibilities, key contact lists, and pre-planning details for critical facilities, lodging and meals. The guidebook is a Microsoft Excel document with multiple tabs, which allows for everything to be kept in a single location and makes it easy to update. The first page of the Resource Guide has a comprehensive Table of Contents that is linked to each form for quick access, and each tab is formatted for simplified printing.

“Mutual aid coordination is an important service MEUW offers our members,” Czuprynko added. “We’re confident this new Resource Guide will become a vital tool our utilities can use to be ready and organized when they request support from other utilities.”

Updates on MEUW training seminars and workshops: With the current “Safer at Home” guidelines in effect until at least the end of May, MEUW has begun focusing on new dates and approaches for upcoming training sessions. Here’s a quick recap of where things stand as of today:

  • Based on high demand for the virtual training, a seventh session has now been added to the schedule of Flaggers Training Webinars. Another three-hour session is planned for Thursday, May 21.
  • The Management Training Program session on “Managing Personnel Matters” on Wednesday, June 3, is currently planned as an in-person workshop at Hotel Marshfield (as originally scheduled).
  • The 2020 Watt Hour Metering Workshop is set for in-person training on Aug. 3-6 at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) in Green Bay. The schedule includes an optional pre-workshop refresher session on Monday, Aug. 3, and the three-day workshop on Aug. 4, 5 and 6.
  • The Facility Locating Workshop will take place Tuesday, Aug. 11, in Eau Claire.
  • The Underground Distribution School is set for Aug. 18-19 at NWTC in Green Bay..
  • MEUW’s 91st Annual Conference will take place in Manitowoc on Aug. 19, 20 and 21.
  • We are exploring options to hold the Competent Person/Excavation Workshop as a virtual training session. The original training date was April 16 in Waupun. More details will be communicated as soon as the logistics are finalized.

Registration information and more details about these and other upcoming training opportunities are currently available on the “Event Calendar” on MEUW’s Website.

Twenty-three state utilities earn national recognition for safe operating practices: Wisconsin is home to nearly 20 percent of the 125 public power utilities to receive the Safety Award of Excellence from the American Public Power Association (APPA). Each of the award recipients announced on April 20 was recognized for having the lowest safety incidence rate based on worker-hours of exposure in 2019. 

More than 335 utilities from across the country submitted information for the annual Safety Awards, which is the highest number of entrants in the 60-year history of the program. A complete list of the Wisconsin utilities to earn the honor is available here.

Additional safety worksheets available to keep up with training: As utility workers continue to observe social-distancing rules, MEUW has developed a series of safety-related training worksheets to help lineworkers review critical concepts. All of the worksheets are available for download from MEUW’s Website, including several new ones added last week. Upon completion, workers are asked to turn in the worksheet by email to receive feedback and credit (instructions are provided on each of the worksheets). Workers are encouraged to limit themselves to completing only one worksheet per sitting to support more focused learning.

The Executive Committee of MEUW’s Board of Directors held its regular every-other-month meeting via a teleconference on April 15. Notes from the discussions are here.

APPA rolls out “thank you” video: The American Public Power Association has produced a brief video to express appreciation for all the public power workers who are keeping the power flowing during the pandemic. Member utilities are encouraged to share it on their social media sites using the hashtag #WePowerOn. The 30-second video can be seen here.  

Safety and Education Committee welcomes new members: As two long-time members of MEUW’s Safety and Ed Committee transition, there are new faces joining the group. Brian Dellemann, lineman foreman at Two Rivers Water & Light, and Dave Pahl, Manager of Generation and Substations at Kaukauna Utilities, have joined the Committee. They succeed Jason Bieri (Sturgeon Bay) and Lonnie Pichler (Kaukauna).

Send us your job postings: Remember that MEUW welcomes the opportunity to help you attract qualified applicants to your utility’s job openings. In fact, the “Employment” page is one of the most visited pages on our website.

Send your open job postings to whenever they become available. We will work to post your position in a timely fashion and also publicize it in the next issue of Live Lines (if the position is not filled before its monthly publication date).

Deadline extended for MEUW Honors and Awards nominations: Annually, the association proudly recognizes individual contributions and achievements toward advancing public power by presenting awards at the Annual Conference. In light of this year’s conference being postponed to August, MEUW is reopening the period to accept additional nominations. The new deadline is Monday, June 1. Full details are available at