Monday 19 November, 2018

BL&P joins CARILEC’s hurricane restoration effort

(From left) Director Operations Johann Greaves sends off the team of Rommel Cumberbatch, Reginald Parris (partially hidden), Kurt Vidal, Ken Howard and Shawn Alleyne along with Senior Engineering Manager Distribution Operations Roger Beckles (2nd from right).

(From left) Director Operations Johann Greaves sends off the team of Rommel Cumberbatch, Reginald Parris (partially hidden), Kurt Vidal, Ken Howard and Shawn Alleyne along with Senior Engineering Manager Distribution Operations Roger Beckles (2nd from right).

“All heroes don’t wear capes”.

This was the sentiment expressed by a Barbados Light & Power (BL&P) staff member as she wished our five-member team well the day before they headed off to hurricane-ravaged Anguilla. On September 6 Anguilla was hit by Hurricane Irma which resulted in the destruction of over 90 per cent of its electricity infrastructure.

The crew, made up of Distribution Supervisor Reginald Parris and linemen Shawn Alleyne, Rommel Cumberbatch, Ken Howard and Kurt Vidal, had all indicated their willingness to volunteer at the start of the hurricane season.

Apart from the expected preparations – packing and coordinating with their Anguillan counterpart – the five underwent a full safety briefing before they travelled. They were reminded to conduct a full job hazard analysis before every assignment and to take their time when assessing each job to make sure that they approach and complete it safely. They were also cautioned to stay in contact with each other and to keep hydrated while in the field.

Director Operations Johann Greaves thanked them for agreeing to help those in need and assured them their efforts are indeed appreciated by BL&P and Anguillans. The team has reported that they have already been able to effect some change, restoring power to a small portion of the island within their first 48 hours.

BL&P is participating in the restoration effort as a member of the Caribbean Electric Utilities Services Corporation (CARILEC), which has an established hurricane assistance programme that prepares members beforehand and arranges aid for them during the annual hurricane season.