Oconto Falls Municipal Utilities sent help to the people impacted by Hurricane Ian.
The Utility answered a call for mutual aid by sending two lineworkers, John Salscheider and Justin VanderBloemen, to Florida. The lineworkers spent a week helping to restore power to another public power utility.
Mutual aid is a term used by electric utilities to describe helping one another during times of need. When a major disaster hits a Utility's territory and the Utility knows that its own crews and equipment won't be enough to restore power quickly, it sends out a call for mutual aid. Other utilities in the network respond with what they can offer.
"We're happy to be able to help the people of Florida," shared Greg Kuhn, OFMU General Manager. "Everyone always says they want to be ablet o help after a disaster like this, and it feels good to actually be able to do something."
"It's a great benefit of public power to know that we can help other utilities in need, and to know that if there ever comes a time when we need help here in Oconto Falls, there will be people ready to assist us. We're thankful John and Justin stepped up to help, and we wish them a safe journey" Kuhn stated.
Salscheider and VanderBloemen joined more than three dozen lineworkers from 23 Wisconsin communities as they make their way to New Smyrna Beach, Fl.
This is the second time in recent history that Oconto Falls has sent aid to Florida. Five years ago, lineworkers traveled to help restore power after Hurricane Irma.
Senator Mary Felzkowski stopped into the OFMU office on Friday, October 14, 2022 to thank Salscheider and VanderBloemen for their efforts to help restore the power to New Smyrna Beach, Fl. Pictured are City of Oconto Falls Mayor Brad Rice, Justin VanderBloemen, Senator Mary Felzkowski, John Salscheider.