MidSouth Electric Cooperative strives not only to provide members with electricity but also to monitor the continual flow of electricity. MidSouth EC’s ever-watchful dispatch crew holds the primary responsibility of monitoring disturbances and outages around the clock.
Playing a vital role in co-op operations, the dispatch crew is responsible for detecting outages as they happen, identifying the problem, sending lineworkers to the scene and ensuring your power is restored safely and effectively.
Although electric service to our members is always important, the No. 1 priority of the dispatch team is safety. “When there is a big outage requiring a lot of people working on-site, we must make sure everyone is aware of any potential hazards, ensure the line is not hot while being repaired and inform our linemen in real time of exactly what is happening,” said Kye Hildreth, System Operations Supervisor. “Keeping our linemen out of danger is our main focus.”
The dispatch team’s focus on safety pertains not only to line-workers but also to members and bystanders. “Always assume an electric line is hot and dangerous,” Hildreth said. “Don’t touch any lines and stay as far away as possible. It is our goal to get it fixed, so if you are ever unsure just give us a call. We are here to help and keep everyone safe in the process.”
Outages can occur for many reasons. Automobiles hitting poles and trees falling on lines are common, but there are some lesser-known causes as well. “From squirrels and birds to just about anything you can imagine can cause an outage,” Hildreth said. “The most interesting cause I have seen involved ants crawling into an underground transformer. If it was up to us, the lights would always stay on, but there are just some things out of our control.”
MidSouth EC’s dispatch crew takes pride in being the first line of defense against danger caused by electricity. Although they work behind the scenes, this team of six labors day and night to ensure outages are restored and everyone stays safe in the process.