There was an electrical outage in Fairbanks last week, which took down email service for the entire UAF system. Frustrating, because I was trying to get a hold of someone on campus, but ultimately not the point. We handle power outages quite regularly, the remarkable part of this story is this power outage was caused by a squirrel. A furry woodland creature jumping from lines caused the electric to fault for one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the state. This is nothing short of remarkable if you ask me.
Solutions to this problem: The utility company told NPR this morning they have guards who can scare the squirrels away if they attempt to jump on the lines.
Where do I apply for that job? I would pay good money to read a job description focusing around “scare the squirrels away from power lines”.
My version would look a lot like this:
Job Opening: Wildlife Control Officer
Requirements: Associates degree or higher required. Two or more years experience working in animal control or wild game management setting preferred. Prospective employees must show proficiency with slingshot, air soft rifle, or long distance rubber band shooting.
Job Duties: Design and implement wildlife control plan for Fairbanks electrical plant. Locate and extricate wildlife from electrical plant facilities. Secure perimeter breaches using fencing, netting, electrical fencing, and barbed wire.
Pay: Peanuts (DOE)