Preparation is key for first responders in storm

Power crews deal with outages

BRUNSWICK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --

First responders across the state prepared for the heavy wind and snow to increase their response times.

Central Maine Power crews loaded up trucks with extra repair equipment in advance of the impending power outages from the strong wind gusts and heavy, wet snow.

"The prep is very important -- we take it very seriously," said Greg Thompson, manager of regional operations for CMP in Brunswick. "Each storm no matter how you prepare for them, they're a little bit different and unique, so you've got find out what's unique about the storm and how do I overcome that uniqueness."

Thompson said CMP hired contractors to supplement their crews, many of which will work a 17-hour shift restoring power. He said mental toughness is key. 

"10 degrees with a wind chill, you're 30 feet up in the air, you've got to be able to take that," said Thompson. "We want to get the power back. We want to make sure people are safe, but we have to do it in a way that we don't create other problems."

Firefighters also need mental toughness, but in the form of focus. Chief James Wilson of the South Portland Fire Department and his co-workers monitored radar and weather reports to determine where and when they may need the most staff.

"We get most of the same calls we get every day, and that can be challenging depending on how much snow comes how quickly," said Chief Wilson.

Wilson said unplowed streets and unshoveled walkways can delay their response times.

Central Maine Power is also rolling out alerts for when power goes out and when it is restored.

Copyright 2017 WCSH


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