• Go Beavers!!!

PCC EPT students and alumni help restore power after hurricanes

02 October 2017
PCC EPT students and alumni help restore power after hurricanes

The Pratt Community College EPT program is well represented in the hurricane relief efforts in Florida and Texas. Along with numerous alumni currently stationed throughout the southern portion of the United States, PCC had nine sophomores in Florida helping with the restoration. These students are currently working for several different companies and will graduate in the spring.

The students experienced hands-on training by repairing and restoring critical infrastructures damaged during the devastating weather events this hurricane season. They worked on restoring residential electrical services, electrical distribution systems, and transmission delivery systems. Aside from the disastrous debris they had to navigate, they were also presented with the challenge of working around displaced wildlife, such as snakes, spiders, and alligators.

Many former students also helped with the restoration of power and electricity in hurricane stricken areas. PCC alumnus, Bobby Garrett, is currently stationed in Orlando, FL. Garrett graduated from the EPT program at PCC in 2012 and currently works for Mid Continent Energy out of Blackwell, OK. He was stationed in Corpus Christi, TX for three weeks to aide in the recovery of Hurricane Harvey before being transferred to Orlando.

Garrett and his crew have been climbing poles, cutting trees, and pulling up broken wire in backyards and alleyways. The biggest challenge he has had to face so far is navigating the terrain and debris in backyards while trying to stay cool in the humidity filled Florida heat. Despite the challenges, however, he is glad he is able to be part of the electricity restoration so he can help the millions of people affected by the hurricanes.

“One of the best things about working on these storms is helping families and especially those with kids who have been out of power for a couple of weeks,” said Garrett.

PCC EPT instructor Dave Campbell echoes his statement.

“It is the first step in the recovery process and they are extremely grateful because they know they can begin their lives again,” said Campbell. “The process begins with getting the lights on.”