Power Plant Invites Neighbors to River Safety Training

Image courtesy of the News Tribune
The workers along the Illinois River in Hennepin got a little safer the past two days.

Workers from Dynegy’s Hennepin Power Station, Marquis Marine, Headwaters of Havana, Hennepin Fire Department and the Hennepin Boat Market gathered Thursday for classroom time and then water safety practice at the Hennepin Pool.

With time donated by the Hennepin Pool, 20-25 employees broken into two groups over two days, tried to save themselves and others. Employees went into the pool fully clothed, wearing life vests, and practiced the safest way to float. After floating for a while, they exited the pool in the correct way, alone and with help.

The class, taught by Coast Guard veteran Capt. Gary Keen, of the River School of Memphis, Tenn., was the first time that the employees from each company got a chance to practice with their safety devices in the water. Keen was in the Coast Guard for 30 years, and has been teaching the class for 15 years.

Dynegy safety specialist Bill Wade said the class would teach the workers how to be calm and survive in cold water, and water in general. Wade and Hennepin power plant fuel supervisor Greg Boggio set up the program and invited neighboring companies. They said if there was an emergency, the companies would help each other, so they should all learn together.

Wade said that the mindset of the workers should be, “It’s not if you go in the water, it’s when you go in the water.”

Participants also practiced getting themselves, and others, into a floating raft. Wade said they would like to make this an annual event, possibly using a mannequin on the work site, to get a real feel for the safety procedure.

The River School can be reached at (800) 238-7113 or info@riverschool.com.

Source: News Tribune