Residents and businesses in Monmouth and Ocean counties may be able to expect better service and quicker restoration times during major power outage events, thanks to a brand new partnership.

JCP&L President Jim Fakult announces an expansion of the utility's Emergency Response Team in Monmouth and Ocean counties (Townsquare Media)

Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) announced Wednesday that it is expanding its Emergency Response Team to include members of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 400, headquartered in Wall Township.

Upon completion of training, the union members will provide damage assessment and safeguard the area for the public, according to JCP&L President Jim Fakult.

"With this training, (members) can provide our team, our supervisors, and our linemen with specific information so that the right equipment could be sent to make repairs," Fakult said. "They're going to provide damage assessment and safeguard the area for the public."

Fakult noted the new team members will have solid knowledge of the area, potentially providing an extra boost to restoration efforts.

IBEW Local 400 currently has more than 700 members, but participation in the JCP&L-IBEW Emergency Response Team is voluntary.

Training is scheduled to begin in November, and Fakult said the alliance should be ready to launch by the new year.

"Our members are eager to participate in JCP&L's training which will enable them to do their part to help their friends and neighbors have their electric service restored more quickly following a severe storm," said Guy Peterson, IBEW Local 400 business manager.

JCP&L's program was introduced in August as a partnership with Parsippany-based IBEW Local 102. Nearly 300 members have completed the emergency response training program.