In mid-July, J.T. Jacobs, VMDAEC safety instructor, and John Medved, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative manager of safety, traveled again to Guatemala in preparation for the NRECA International mission trip scheduled for October.

The main purpose of the three-day trip was to help lead training in first aid and CPR, following the donation of an automated external defibrillator (AED). Local utility employees were also trained in the proper use of a Hastings stick tester and ground tester donated by the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives. “Live-line equipment can now be tested before crews go down for international projects,” says Jacobs.

Later in the month, the Association hosted a team meeting at its Training Center in Palmyra, Va., with the group traveling to Guatemala in October. The construction team was able to get familiar with one another and learn about what to expect on the trip. Also in attendance was NRECA International Senior Program Manager Ingrid Hunsicker, who provided valuable insight and suggestions for safely traveling to and throughout the region.

Jacobs and Medved presented the upcoming project details to the team, including images and videos of the village and neighboring areas. A variety of tools and equipment are needed to safely and efficiently complete the project. While several items have been secured, the trip leaders described the tools and devices still needed.

The group plans to meet at least once more prior to departing on October 1 for Guatemala. For more information regarding tools and equipment needed, please contact Jacobs at 434-941-8742 or [email protected]. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Jim Robertson at 804-401-0801 or [email protected].

–Report by Jim Robertson, Manager of Member Services, VMDAEC.