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Wisconsin Public Service teaches electrical safety to schoolchildren

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- Wisconsin Public Service employees took some time this weekend to spread some education about electrical safety to a number of youth organizations.

Forty Boy Scouts and a class of homeschool students got lessons on how to be safe around electrical power, how that power is made and more. WPS Spokesperson Kelly Zagrzebski says the scouts are getting help getting their merit badges in Electricity from WPS employees. "The boys were given four different projects to work on about a month ago, and we're having our folks go through those projects to see if they were done correctly. And if maybe they weren't, helping to correct it so it helps them be successful in getting their merit badge."

The Scouts get lessons in reading a meter, calculating a bill, drawing up new home plans and where to place electrical outlets, avoiding overloaded electrical circuits, how to rescue a person that has contacted a live wire and how to administer proper first aid treatment. Zagrzebski says this has been a 62 year partnership with the Boy Scouts. "Our folks put together the presentations that touch on the key topics that the boys need to complete to get their merit badge."

WPS Linesman Paul Nohr says the Path to Ground classes are basic safety classes. "[We] help them to understand and respect the hazards of electricity, primarily the outdoor, overhead, high voltage lines that we work with, and to protect them from becoming a path to the ground from that electricity."

The title of the program, Path-To-Ground, is the most basic part of the lesson. Nohr says once a path to ground is made, that electricity could kill you. "The electricity can produce over 4000 degrees in just a matter of less than a second and cause significant damage to the human body." The lesson includes a miniature power line setup to help demonstrate how power flows through systems and other hazards.

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