• 61°

Alabama Power visits Atmore Area YMCA

A dozen kids at the Atmore Area YMCA sat mesmerized on a recent Thursday as they listened to Alabama Power Manager Ricky Martin talk about the electrical business and how important safety is on the job.

Martin talked about the origin of Alabama Power and how its sister companies — Georgia Power, Mississippi Power and Gulf Power — are under Southern Company.

Martin said AP started in 1912, and was originally called the Alabama Traction, Light and Power Company.

“Southern Company is the second biggest utility company in the nation,” Martin said.

Southern Company has 73 power plants that provide electricity to many homes and businesses, Martin said. Each plant burns coal, and the company has also invested in wind and solar farms.

Martin said a lot of the electrical work done on a local level involves linemen working on power lines.

He said linemen use bucket trucks to be able to work on power lines, adding that each linemen has to wear protective clothing, including a helmet, eye ware, flame-retardant clothing, rubber gloves and steel-toed boots, to name a few.

Martin said safety is the No. 1 priority for linemen who are on the job, and offered some advice to the kids on what to do in case they come across a downed power line.

He said to call the power company and report the downed power line so that they can come and take care of the problem.

Additionally, he told the kids what to do if a power line falls on their vehicle.

“Stay in your vehicle, unless your vehicle is on fire,” he said.

One of the most important safety tips Martin gave the kids is to have respect for electricity.

After listening, the kids were able to ask questions and have the opportunity to dress as a linemen.