Author Archives: jboles

Safety above all else

“Safety” is a universal word that is mentioned often and used loosely. Communities large and small, as well as companies across all industries, are committed to safety. Sports leagues, at every level, take safety seriously. Unfortunately, when it really counts, steps to keep the public, workers, athletes and loved ones safe are often ignored in the interest of expediency or convenience.

However, safety is a serious issue, especially when it comes to electrical safety. For, East Mississippi Electric Power Association, it’s the number one priority. This is not empty talk. Over time, EMEPA has created a culture of safety by putting our employees’ safety and that of the community above all else. At its essence, EMEPA’s mission is to provide safe, affordable and reliable electricity to its member-owners. At the end of the day, we strive to deliver affordable and reliable electricity to our member-owners, but equally important, we want to return our workers home safely to their loved ones. To do this requires ongoing focus, dedication and vigilance.

Following leading national safety standards

Working with electricity is an inherently dangerous job, especially for lineworkers. EMEPA has a safety team whose focus is keeping employees and the community safe around electricity. We established and follow safety protocols based on leading national safety practices for the utility industry. We require our lineworkers to wear specialized equipment when working next to or with power lines. There are specific protocols that our lineworkers follow when dealing with electricity. Our safety team has regular meetings where they discuss upcoming projects from a safety perspective. They monitor and track near-misses of accidents in order to understand them, share “lessons learned” and improve in the future.

As importantly, we encourage all of our crews to speak up and hold each other accountable for safety. By cultivating a culture of openness and transparency, we promote problem-solving with regard to safety, rather than defaulting to a blame game. We examine the information and data gleaned from near-misses and accident reports to discern patterns and use safety metrics to improve in those areas where we have fallen short. As appropriate, we brief contractors on our safety protocols and set expectations for their engagement.

Keeping the community safe

Because we live and work in the community we serve, we care about our neighbors. We often conduct electrical safety demonstrations in schools and for community events.

May is National Electrical Safety Month. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation, each year thousands of people in the United States are critically injured and electrocuted as a result of electrical fires, accidents and electrocution in their own homes. Many of these accidents are preventable. There is much you can do to keep yourself and your community safe around electricity.

Don’t attempt electrical DIY projects or overload your outlets. Report downed power lines, unlocked substations or padmount transformers that look amiss. Contact EMEPA for additional electrical safety tips. If you would like us to provide a safety demonstration at your school or community event, please contact our Marketing and Communication department at 601-581-8624. Be mindful when it comes to electrical safety. Pause and take the extra time to plug into safety.

Leading the way into the future through Mississippi’s brightest students

The Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi recently held the 32ndYouth Leadership Workshop in downtown Jackson. This annual youth event brought students from across Mississippi to the state capital to meet their legislators and to participate in activities designed to enhance their already present leadership abilities. The workshop began on Wednesday, Feb. 21 and continued through Friday,…Continue Reading

The value of electricity continues to shine

How many of us remember dropping into an East Mississippi Electric Power Association office with our parents and grandparents to pay the light bill? Whether you do that in person, by mail or online today, paying your monthly bill does a lot more than just keep the lights on. Electricity keeps us connected to our…Continue Reading

EMEPA preps for 5th Annual Shoot For A Cure

East Mississippi Electric Power Association is gearing up for its 5th Annual Shoot For A Cure scheduled for Thursday, March 8 at Camp Binachi in Lauderdale County. Last year, EMEPA employees and supporters raised over $20,000 for the American Cancer Society through this premier fundraising event. EMEPA’s Relay For Life team has been recognized as…Continue Reading

Freezing temperatures bring increased energy use

We closed out 2017 and welcomed 2018 with bone-chilling temperatures as an arctic outbreak swept across much of the nation bringing record-breaking cold. These cold temperatures bring higher energy bills as heating equipment inside members’ homes and businesses is challenged to fight the unusually frigid weather. In December, temperatures dipped into the lower 20s, and…Continue Reading


By Randy Carroll, CEO As the New Year begins, it always comes up. What are your resolutions for the coming year? I was amused this year to see Dean Winters as Allstate Insurance’s Mr. Mayhem declaring his New Year’s Resolution of no more mayhem during the college football game commercials. A tagline would always show…Continue Reading

EMEPA recognizes employees’ dedicated service

The following employees have provided a combined total of 530 years of service to East Mississippi Electric Power Association and were recently recognized at EMEPA’s Employee Christmas Dinner for their hard work and dedication.  5 Years Blake Sharron Eliot Smith 10 Years Chance Kidd Archie Matthews Chris Gryner 15 Years Stephanie Mimbs Jo Ann Reed…Continue Reading

EMEPA holiday closing schedule

East Mississippi Electric Power Association’s offices will be closed Monday, Dec. 25 and Tuesday, Dec. 26 for the Christmas Holiday. In addition, offices will be closed Monday, Jan.1 for the New Year’s Holiday. Dispatchers will remain on duty and may be reached at 601-581-8600 in the case of an outage or emergency situations. We wish…Continue Reading

EMEPA closes for Thanksgiving holiday

East Mississippi Electric Power Association’s offices will be closed Thursday, Nov. 23 and Friday, Nov. 24 for Thanksgiving. Dispatchers will remain on duty and may be reached at 601-581-8600 in the case of an outage or emergency situation. We wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.Continue Reading

EMEPA to return $2.5 Million in capital credits

East Mississippi Electric Power Association’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce the return of capital credits for the years 1975 and 1987 totaling more than $2.5 Million. Members of EMEPA during those years helped provide the funding to build and maintain the electric system. As a not-for-profit cooperative, all funds not used to pay…Continue Reading