Baker City residents might notice film crews in the northeast part of town on Thursday. But it’s not a big budget film or a Netflix TV show setting up shop in the community.
Instead, Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative is filming a safety video to demonstrate safety connected to power.
“The video will focus on a staged car accident where an electric pole is damaged,” said Lea Gettle, OTEC’s manager of administration and strategic services.
The safety video will run through several scenarios from several perspectives, but the theme is a simple one.
“What do you do if you come up an accident and there is an unconscious person in a car and a power lines laying across the car?” Gettle said.
Film crews will film the staged mock incident on South Bridge Street in front of Mount Hope Cemetery. This project is in cooperation with Life Flight, Baker City Fire Department and Baker County Sheriff’s office.
“It’s important for residents to know that if they see helicopters and hear sirens in that part of town, it’s all planned,” Gettle said.
Rick Jensen, OTEC’s manager of safety and loss control, said he is excited about the potential of the safety video and to see the cooperative utilizing this new technology.
The safety video is being filmed in 360-degree virtual reality and can be utilized through a VR headset or as a 360-degree video on the cooperative’s website. It can also be utilized as part of OTEC’s safety program and be used to help train first responders.
“This could be a great tool in partnership with our first responders to help train and also to help get the safety message out to more people,” said Rick Jensen, OTEC’s manager of safety and loss control.
Gettle said as far as she knows, OTEC is the first member-owned utility to use virtual reality to create a safety video. Gettle said the virtual reality safety video will begin with a 911 call and go through the process of a mock incident, “all the way through to the end.”
“Virtual reality is really an innovate way to get the word out on anything we’re trying to communicate to our members, with safety being No. 1,” said Gettle.