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Training in the Wind

When a semitrailer carrying a wind turbine wound up in a ditch, Francis Tuttle Technology Center turned the accident into a learning tool for wind technicians.
Training in the Wind

Wind Tower Safety training is offered at Francis Tuttle Technology Center.

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Francis Tuttle Technology center

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Show 1408: Training in the Wind


Rob McClendon: Well, when a semi-truck heading down the highway broke its axle, its cargo, after a few tumbles, wound up in the ditch. It was an expensive loss, because the cargo was a turbine for a wind tower. But thanks to the ingenuity of an Oklahoma school, that accident has turned into a learning tool for students studying to be wind technicians. Here is our Andy Barth.

Andy Barth: We see them dotted along roadways, powering our world, and for the workers who maintain these gigantic structures, a lot of training is required before heading up.

Darin Campbell: Everybody wants to climb a wind turbine. Well, you need to be able to do something when you get up there.

Andy: Darin Campbell is a former tower operator and now teaches the wind tower safety course at Francis Tuttle.

Campbell: This is what’s inside that big white box.

Andy: Safety is key when working on wind turbines. And Campbell says it’s important for his students to learn on actual turbine components.

Campbell: A lot of safety issues involved. And with this, I can actually show them what those issues are.

Andy: And for student Shannon Buchanan, this career is the right fit.

Shannon Buchanan: My father was in the oil field, and as a kid I got to go on the rigs with him. So I wanted to get into that type of field. And wind energy has always just interested me.

Andy: Working on wind turbines requires employees to literally reach new heights. But for Buchanan, that won’t be an issue.

Buchanan: As a kid I was always in trouble for climbing trees and climbing over fences and stuff or climbing on top of the house. And so I actually like heights.

Andy: Tall structures and extreme weather conditions isn’t for everyone. But thanks to the education Francis Tuttle offers, companies don’t have to train new hires from Campbell’s program.

Darin Campbell: Now the thing unique about our CareerTech system here in Oklahoma is we can give that training to these guys out here working. And these companies don’t have to send them through and pay to get them trained. They already come to them already with those certifications. They’re ready to be hired.

Andy: Good news for Buchanan, who looks forward to helping keep our world sustainable.

Buchanan: I like contributing back to the environment and getting into something that was a renewable energy and an upcoming field that I can learn and grow fast in.

Andy: Training to power our world, one step at a time.

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