Four Tipmont REMC lineworkers are part of a 30-person delegation of crews and equipment to assist with the power restoration effort in Virginia after winter storms moved through the state. The area’s electric distribution system sustained major damage.
The lineworkers left Monday for Rappahannock Electric Cooperative in Culpeper, Virginia, to assist in the power recovery effort after more than 85,000 of the electric distribution cooperative’s consumers were left without electricity. Tipmont REMC and other Indiana electric cooperative line workers also assisted with ice storm repairs near Crewe, Virginia in February 2021.
In addition to Tipmont REMC, crews from nine additional Indiana electric cooperatives responded: Henry County REMC (New Castle), Heartland REMC (Wabash), Jasper County REMC (Rensselaer), Northeastern REMC (Columbia City), RushShelby Energy (Manilla), South Central Indiana REMC (Martinsville), Southern Indiana Power (Tell City), Utilities District of Western Indiana REMC (Bloomfield), and Whitewater Valley REMC (Liberty).
“Every cooperative in the Indiana Electric Cooperatives family is an integral part of a state and national network of hundreds of fellow cooperatives,” said Rob Ford, Tipmont REMC Communication Director. “We work together and help one another in times of disaster, to make sure our power delivery systems are repaired as quickly, safely, and cost-effectively as possible.”
“We take care of emergency needs at home first, but our crews are eager to help those in need,” said Ford. “They take a tremendous amount of pride in representing Tipmont and the state of Indiana. They represent us well with how professionally and safely they work.”
Regardless of the circumstance, it is important to remember safety around downed power lines. Always assume a downed power line is still energized. If you see a downed line, stay away and contact your electric utility. Additionally, stay away from limbs or trees in contact with downed lines because they can be conductors of electricity.
The Indiana electric cooperative mutual aid program provides cooperative assistance in service restoration from storms or other events that result in significant power outages.
Rob Ford is Tipmont and Wintek's communication director, a role he's held since 2015.
Rob has a bachelor's and a master's in Communication from Purdue University. He lives in West Lafayette with his wife and three children and has a life-sized Yoda statue in his office. Away from the office, you’ll find Rob working on his golf swing, jump shot, or hope for a Purdue basketball national title – all futile endeavors.