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CONSUMERS POWER LAUNCHES WIREWATCHER PROGRAM

 CONSUMERS POWER LAUNCHES WIREWATCHER PROGRAM
 JACKSON, Mich., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Power Company has


fulfilled a commitment made to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) after last summer's major storm by developing a unique program to protect the public from downed electric lines.
 As part of the program, more than 1,300 of the utility's 9,000 employees have volunteered to participate in training to keep the public away from downed electric lines during emergency situations caused by major storm damage. The employee volunteers are located in the utility's three electric operating regions, headquartered in Grand Rapids, Lansing and Saginaw, and in its corporate headquarters in Jackson.
 The training is unique in the electric utility industry and is based on recommendations submitted by customers, public safety officials and employees. The training involves six hours of classwork and practice on the proper steps to take regarding downed electric lines.
 "Ensuring the continued safety of the 3.5 million people we serve with electricity, and the safety of our employees, is the paramount objective of the wireguard training program," said Paul A. Elbert, the utility's senior vice president of energy distribution.
 "In addition to ensuring safety, this program will relieve some of the pressure on public safety officials to guard downed wires in the aftermath of destructive storms," said Elbert.
 Trainees are taught the potential hazards of electricity, how to properly place barricades, and the importance of staying at least 20 feet away from a downed wire or other equipment that may be electrically charged. Trainees also practice answering possible questions from the public, and are post-tested prior to certification as a wireguard.
 The training program was developed over the past six months by an 11-member task force consisting of technical, community affairs and communications experts from throughout Michigan. Included in the training program are substantive recommendations from public service agency representatives who served on the task force.
 Consumers Power Company, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy Corporation (NYSE: CMS), is Michigan's largest natural gas and electric utility serving almost 6 million of the state's 9 million residents in 67 of the 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
 -0- 4/2/92
 /CONTACT: Charles E. MacInnis of Consumers Power, 517-788-0333/
 (CMS) CO: Consumers Power Company; CMS Energy Corporation ST: Michigan IN: UTI SU:


SB -- DE001 -- 4200 04/02/92 08:42 EST
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Date:Apr 2, 1992
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