Clark County REMC was looking for a live line tabletop demo.

The Utilities District of Western Indiana (UDWI) had an extra one.


In the cooperative spirit, the latter donated to the former, putting both co-ops in a position to better educate their member-consumers.


“We were happy to help out,” UDWI CEO Doug Childs said. “It’s good that (the old tabletop) gets use and maybe we’ll keep one person alive that wouldn’t have been.”


For Clark, it was the culmination of what had been a fruitless search.


“We searched online for a good tabletop safety demo to use in elementary schools but couldn’t find one to meet our needs,” Clark County REMC CEO Jason Clemmons said. “A couple of phone calls and emails around our co-op family and not only did we have exactly what we were looking for, but it was being given to us at no cost.”


Clark County CEO Jason Clemmons, left, and UDWI CEO Doug Childs, right, greet each other at Hoosier Energy headquarters.

UDWI had upgraded to a newer model in March of 2020, little knowing that the COVID-19 pandemic would sideline all models, old and new, for some time.


“We thought we could put the old one in the lobby, but for a long time there was no one in the lobby,” Childs said. “It just didn’t make sense for it to sit there.”


At UDWI, the goal is to do a minimum of six safety demonstrations per year – two live-line demos and four with the tabletop demo, whether it’s within the community, schools, fairs or whatever the event.


That is happening again as the world wakes up from its COVID-induced slumber.


“When we do those, we always get a great reception and great reviews,” Childs said. “We’ve found a picture paints a thousand words.”


Now Clark County REMC can do the same for its members.


“One of our goals for this year has been to spend more time in our community doing safety training and education, especially since COVID kept us from doing so many of the things we love,” Clemmons said. “We plan to be back in the schools in the fall with this display, and we can’t thank UDWI enough for their generosity.”

He added: “That’s the way co-ops have always worked – we help each other. But it’s still humbling and inspiring when it happens.”


Turnabout is fair play.


“It’s something we can all be proud of and if the shoe was on the other foot, the same thing would happen,” Childs said.