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How Power Restoration is Prioritized in West Hartford

Hunter Drive, and many of the roads west of Mountain Road, were inaccessible, even to emergency vehicles, and will be a high priority for restoration. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The West Hartford Fire Department and other emergency personnel notify Eversource of life safety issues, but they do not set the restoration schedule for the power company.

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West Hartford’s emergency responders are receiving inquiries about the prioritization of the response to electrical restoration.

In short, local first responders notify Eversource about the extent of an particular location’s incident or emergency and in all situations, Eversource then determines the actual priority and timeline for restoration.

More specifically, when a power issue is called into West Hartford Public Safety Dispatch or is discovered by first responders, the situation is assessed by a police officer or fire apparatus. West Hartford responders then provide a basic “priority” of the incident based upon criteria pre-established by Eversource.

In short, a Priority 1 involves a direct and present threat to life, a Priority 2 hinders emergency operations, and a Priority 3 means an electrical hazard exists.

For non-life threatening incidents, West Hartford responders then mark or tape off the area to provide an alert that a hazard is present.

When calls from West Hartford Public Safety Dispatch or from members of the public are received from Eversource, Eversource then asks a series of questions and confirms the priority of the incident. Then, through an identified prioritization strategy, Eversource will respond to the incident. In general, the following is the hierarchy for priorities:

1- Active incidents with actual Life-threatening circumstances

2- Road reopening

3- Restoration of power to critical facilities (healthcare, emergency operations centers, gas stations, pharmacies and supermarkets)

4- General restoration which, among other things, takes into consideration the areas where the highest number of residences can be restored in the most efficient manner.

For incidents, there are two functions, making a scene safe and restoring power. They do not always occur at the same time. However, depending on the amount of resources available, Eversource can handle incident response and restoration simultaneously and seeks to safely restore power as soon as possible.

The local responders role is to assess, take preventative action by marking hazards, and then to provide notification of electrical hazards to Eversource.

Eversource solely makes the determination on restoration sequencing. More information about priorities and restoration can be found on the Eversource website.

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