As part of its long-standing tradition of assisting neighboring electric companies in need, FirstEnergy Corp. utilities have sent 140 employees - including 56 line crews - to Rockville, Maryland, to help restore electrical service to more than 87,000 Pepco customers who remain without electricity after a devastating thunderstorm hit the greater Washington, D.C. area yesterday morning. This marks the second time in less than a month that FirstEnergy crews have provided mutual assistance to customers in Maryland following severe weather.

Five of FirstEnergy's utilities are part of the mutual assistance effort, including 20 crews from Pennsylvania Electric Company, 20 crews from Ohio Edison/Pennsylvania Power, 10 crews from Jersey Central Power & Light, and six from Toledo Edison. Managers, mechanics and safety personnel also are included in the company's contingent.

In late July, more than 170 FirstEnergy personnel worked in the Gaithersburg, Maryland area, to help Pepco crews restore electrical service following one of the largest storms to hit the greater Washington, D.C. area. In addition, FirstEnergy crews recently returned from western Pennsylvania and West Virginia after providing assistance to Allegheny Energy customers affected by storm-related power outages.

FirstEnergy is a member of multiple electric utility mutual-assistance groups that work cooperatively to restore service to customers when a natural disaster causes large-scale power outages. In the past, FirstEnergy and its employees have been honored by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) with its "Emergency Assistance Award" for the mutual assistance the company has provided during winter and summer storms. Most recently, the company won the EEI award for providing assistance to utilities in Kentucky and Ohio following severe ice storms in January of 2009.