News Releases

Portola Boy Given Utlity Safety Award

Mar 1, 2000

March 2, 2000
Sierra Pacific Resources
Contact: Bob Sagan / Karl Walquist
Phone: (775)834-4834 / (775) 834-3891

For Immediate Release

Quick Thinking Prevents Potential Hazard

Portola resident Mathew Michaels will be presented with a Merit of Safety Award and a $200 savings bond by Sierra Pacific Power Co. at the Portola City Council meeting Wednesday night.

The eight-year-old, Carmichael Elementary School student was visiting a friend on Jan. 19, when he noticed electrical arcing on a nearby utility pole. Remembering what he'd learned in a Sierra Pacific Public Electrical Safety Awareness Program at his school, Michaels immediately notified an adult about the potential hazard. The adult contacted Sierra Pacific.

According to Bob Vieira, a Sierra Pacific Portola employee, had the boy not reported the problem promptly, it could have set the pole on fire, which in turn could have resulted in a lengthy electrical outage."Even more critical, a downed power line poses a very real threat to passersby," Vieira said."We always ask the public to keep away from downed lines and to notify Sierra Pacific Power immediately."

Michaels'Merit of Safety Award reads:"This is to verify that Mathew Michaels, on January 19, 2000, did display his resourcefulness and quick thinking, employing knowledge gained from a Sierra Pacific Power Company safety demonstration, when he alerted authorities to a potential electrical hazard. Not only did his action avoid a lengthy power outage, but it also may have prevented a serious accident. His community and Sierra Pacific Power Company owe him a debt of gratitude."