03 Mar DREMC, Shelbyville Power, and LES sign mutual aid agreement
Shelbyville, TN—Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC), Shelbyville Power, Water, and Sewerage Systems (Shelbyville Power), and Lewisburg Electric System (LES) have signed a mutual aid agreement to provide emergency response services to one another in the event of widespread damage to their respective electric systems.
This agreement is a creative approach to allow municipals and cooperatives to work together in times where it is most needed. A standard mutual aid model only focuses on municipals responding to other municipals and cooperatives to fellow cooperatives.
“This partnership between our teams demonstrates our mutual desire to take care of local communities first,” said Scott Spence, President and CEO of DREMC. “Driving past damage in Shelbyville or Lewisburg to help utilities farther away prior to responding to damage locally isn’t in the best interest of our neighbors. This agreement allows us to take care of our hometowns before extending help to others.”
In addition to thunderstorms and heavy wind events, Middle Tennessee has experienced severe winter weather over the past two years, resulting in widespread outages lasting multiple days. Receiving assistance from crews close to home shortens crew response times, restores service faster, and allows line crews to return to their families at the end of the day.
“Keeping our folks close to home and helping out a neighbor in need at the same time is what public power is all about,” said Shelbyville Power General Manager Jason Reese. “Our crews live here and want to go home to their families after working these stressful events. We are proud to support our friends at DREMC and LES and will work hard to restore power to their communities just as we do for the citizens of Shelbyville.”
While this type of agreement between cooperatives and municipals is uncommon, the mutual aid model for each group to support their fellow cooperatives or municipals has been a vital resource for decades.
“We don’t hesitate to help communities outside our area—it’s part of who we are, and we intend to continue offering assistance whenever we can,” said LES General Manager Brad Medley. “The benefit to this new approach is that we can make sure our local folks are in good shape before we respond farther away.”
Collectively, Shelbyville Power, DREMC, and LES serve 96,000 residents and businesses of Middle Tennessee.