City receives electric safety award from trade association

August 12, 2022
Comanche city manager Chuck Ralls presents the MESO safety award plaque to utilities supervisor Lester Lehew. Comanche city manager Chuck Ralls presents the MESO safety award plaque to utilities supervisor Lester Lehew.

The Municipal Electric Systems of Oklahoma, Inc. (MESO) announces that the City of Comanche, and Comanche Electric, which operates the city's electric system, is recognized for first place in the association's annual Electric Safety Competition in Oklahoma. The utility was recognized in that category for cities under 10,000 population.

Comanche is being recognized for its exceptional safety record in 2021. The utility's personnel went the year with no reportable incidents, resulting in no lost work time, either "days away from work," "restricted light duty," or "medical treatment," cases in 3,180-man hours. Comanche participates in the MESO Job Training and Safety program as one resource for ensuring safe work practices.

MESO general manager Tom Rider presented the award to Comanche.

"As important as electric system reliability is to citizens, knowing that each and every day, the work is being performed correctly and safely should be a source of pride for Comanche customers. The current operational standards and employee training standards of this utility are superior," Rider said. "This training and development of staff and increased funding for reliability resulted in the continued excellent performance of the utility. Local control means local crews. That means a fast response. And fast response means less outage time."

MESO is a municipal utility trade association representing cities in Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas. The association's member utilities provide non-profit electric services and electric power generation to some 750,000 people in four states. The City of Comanche purchases its energy from the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority.

To ensure fast responses to emergencies, Comanche is also a signatory to Mutual Aid Agreements in the region. These agreements are recognized by FEMA for use in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. Utilities in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma agree through the program on the conditions under which assistance may be received in an emergency ahead of the event so there are no delays in responding to the needs of another utility.