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The Power of Mutual Aid

Posted By IAMU, Tuesday, April 16, 2019

When members need help, they know they can count on colleagues from around the state. It’s the power of Mutual Aid (MA).

IAMU Director of Member Services Dave Hraha was contacted by Brad Willemssen, Electric Superintendent from City of Sibley, last Thursday morning at 5:09 a.m. At that time, he was calling in with 45 poles down on their rural line to Bigelow. More poles went down during the event. 

Hraha then contacted Roger Morris, Spencer Municipal Utilities Electric Manager and IAMU MA Primary Coordinator in Region 1, and John Bilsten, Algona Municipal Utilities General Manger and Secondary Coordinator in Region 1, along with Rod Vitchum, Algona Electric Line Superintendent. Morris and Vitchum led the response.  

Those members that assisted included:

  • Spencer
  • Algona
  • Sioux Center
  • Sergeant Bluff
  • Hartley
  • Alta
  • Aurelia
  • Webster City
  • Atlantic (equipment)\
  • Orange City (stand-by)

Power was restored Saturday night.

“Thank you cannot be said enough,” Willemssen wrote in an email. “Everyone worked hard to get it done. Crews took different tasks on the project and worked together well. It is obvious that the Mutual Aid program is very organized by how smooth everything went.”



Tags:  Mutual Aid  Sibley Municipal Utilities 

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Sibley Municipal Utilities Hosts Students to Power Plant

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Sibley Municipal Utilities (SMU) hosted the Sibley Ocheyedan fourth grade class for a visit at the Power Plant on May 24 to help the students learn more about power, safety, and opportunities in the electric field.

There were 67 students and four teachers who attended the event. The students were divided into four groups and rotated to four different stations. Each student was given a draw string bag from Northwest Iowa Community College (WICC) with information about the college, student newsletter, coloring sheet, and other items supplied by SMU. There were 67 students and 4 teachers. 

  • Doug Breuer, who has been with SMU for 40 years, talked to the students about the generators and how energy is delivered to the homes through the Power Plant. The students asked questions about how long it took to have the generators running to restore power during an outage? It takes about 20-30 minutes to restore power during outages. Is someone at the Power Plant 24 hours a day? No, there are two employees on call who respond to outages.
  • Lisa Story, NWICC Director of Enrollment Management, talked to the students about careers and education at the NWICC.

  • Jerrad Brouwer, who has been with SMU for 17 years, demonstrated equipment used for safety such as rubber goods, different types of voltage testing equipment, and clothing. Jerrad stressed the importance of staying clear of downed power lines and to call their power provider immediately.

  • Jon Hieliger, who has been with SMU for four years, talked to the students about truck safety and clearances. Jon showed the students how to put on a harness, demonstrated the use of the fiberglass tools, and talked the students about staying clear of Utility trucks in use.

The Sibley area is served by three power providers. It is important that the students and parents are aware of who to contact in case of an outage or electrical emergency. We appreciate the opportunity to have Northwest Iowa Community College be a part of the tour. We want to be sure our students understand there are different career options for them after graduating High School.

Tags:  Sibley Municipal Utilities 

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