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WAPA Line Workers Receive New Bucket Truck Training, Install Lights for ‘Miracle on Main Street’

WAPA line workers taking part in training to use Versalift trucks. (Submitted photo)

The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA or Authority) recently received three new Versalift bucket trucks, one of which was completely funded through the Department of the Interior. The new trucks are part of the Authority’s efforts to improve operational efficiency, timely service to customers, and working conditions for its line workers.

Akeem Thomas, electrician 1st class at the Authority said, “The team and I have been anticipating the arrival of the new bucket trucks and are looking forward to adding more reliability to the fleet. The smallest bucket truck introduces a significant improvement to the bucket boom which can now rotate 180 degrees, making it very convenient for linemen working on poles.

“The compact size also makes it easier to maneuver steep hills with winding roads and sharp turns. Additional vehicle benefits include integrated new technology that will save on fuel and limit wear and tear on the engine.”

Line workers using a Versalift truck to hang lights for the upcoming annual holiday event Miracle on Mainstreet. (Submitted photo)

“Due to ongoing issues with the fleet, our line workers oftentimes share only one bucket truck across the island as they work tirelessly to ensure our customers are served in a timely manner. The addition of the new bucket trucks will not only help improve service to our customers, but it will allow our employees to complete their jobs more safely and confidently.

“The introduction of hybrid technology, thanks to the U.S. Department of the Interior grant, will improve operational efficiency, reduce jobsite noise and improve safety through the utilization of an onboard battery system that operates the aerial lift device on the truck,” said Ashley Bryan, director of transmission and distribution at the Authority.

Of special note, WAPA’s line workers were pleased to be able to use one of the new Versalift bucket trucks on Tuesday, Dec. 6, to hang the lights for the upcoming annual holiday event, Miracle on Main Street that will be held on Friday, Dec. 16, and be hosted by the St. Thomas – St. John Chamber of Commerce.

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