The annual line clearance forestry school, hosted by the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperative’s (AIEC) safety department, was held May 17-21, 2021 at Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park in southern Illinois.
The school is designed to accommodate both experienced and inexperienced employees who wish to become more proficient in the field of line clearance – right of way management. Participants were taught the newest industry standards and were expected to demonstrate procedures and be competent in their application upon completion.
Training included chainsaw safety and maintenance, tree biology, cutting and rigging to safely clear power lines, proper pruning and hazards of storm damage to power lines. Line clearance experts from across the country instructed participants using scenarios they will encounter on the job.
Chainsaw safety instructor Alex Bildeaux, Jr., Bildeaux Services, said, “A lot of the other trainings I do are not as much hands on and some info gets lost in translation from when they hear the information and go out and try it. Here, if they have a question, they can go out and do it because there are all aspects of linemen and tree trimmers cutting down trees. This is all basic, practical information they will need to use every day.”
The AIEC thanks its sponsors – Altec Industries, Inc., Anixter, A-Star Electric Company, Bashlin Industries, Inc., Black and Company, Bobcat of St. Louis, Endrizzi Contracting Inc., Husqvarna, Jarraff Industries, Inc., Lilly Timber Services, Inc., Matthews & Sons Contractors, Nelson Tree Service, LLC, Nutrien Solution, Pure Air Natives, Red Bud Supply, Reliable, Vermeer Midwest, Wright Tree Service and ZOLL Medical Corporation.