For the 11th consecutive year, FirstEnergy Corp. has earned recognition for its emergency response efforts from the Edison Electric Institute, an electric industry organization.
FirstEnergy was honored with the Emergency Assistance Award as a result of sending about 600 line workers, contractors and support personnel to assist Florida Power and Light and Duke Energy after Hurricane Matthew caused large-scale power outages along the East Coast.
Over a 10-day period in early October last year, FirstEnergy personnel were part of an effort that helped restore electric service to 1.2 million Florida Power and Light customers in Florida and 157,000 Duke Energy customers in South Carolina.
FirstEnergy also earned the Emergency Recovery Award for restoration efforts of its own customers following severe thunderstorms and flooding that caused more than 70,000 Mon Power customers in West Virginia to lose power in late June of last year. More than 1,000 company line workers, contractors, damage assessors and support personnel were part of the restoration effort.
Despite accessibility issues with flooded substations and multiple transmission structures being damaged in inaccessible mountain areas, FirstEnergy crews were able to restore more than 90 percent of the customers within four days.
"The tireless work of FirstEnergy's crews to quickly and safely restore service to customers, and to lend assistance to neighboring electric companies, demonstrates the industry's strong commitment to customer service," said EEI President Tom Kuhn. "FirstEnergy's dedicated crews who faced challenging conditions are greatly deserving of this recognition."
"Receiving both awards is a special honor because it means our employees used their considerable skills in difficult work environments to benefit our own customers, and those of other utilities," said Steven Strah, senior vice president of FirstEnergy and president of FirstEnergy Utilities. "What is most impressive is that the repairs were made with no accidents or injuries, which is a testament to our employees' commitment to safety."
EEI presents these awards to member companies to recognize extraordinary efforts to restore power or for assisting other electric companies after service disruptions caused by severe weather conditions and other natural events. Winners are chosen by an independent panel of electric industry experts following an international nomination process. The awards were presented January 11, 2017, during the winter EEI Board of Directors and CEO meeting in Florida.