For the past two weeks, our technicians have been working hard to restore much needed natural gas service to residents in Massachusetts before cold weather sets in. Thirteen team members who answered the call to help were welcomed back to San Diego today.
They wrapped up a successful effort conducting safety checks inside homes, inspecting for leaks, repairing gas lines and installing new appliances. In total, our skilled technicians serviced more than 600 homes in the Lawrence area, including making repairs to about 350 homes.
Team members reported that the interaction with residents and other utility workers was overwhelmingly positive, and it was gratifying to know they helped make a difference in people’s lives during a tough time.
“This was one of the best experiences of my career,” said Jorge Cordova, SDG&E field supervisor, who led the effort in the field.
“With the freezing weather coming, these residents need their heat restored, and we were glad we could help” he said. “It is a little bittersweet for all of us coming home knowing there’s more to do.”
Cordova said while it was hard to be away from his family for so long he would answer the call to help communities again when needed.
Lending a Helping Hand
Our gas technicians were joined in the Lawrence area by crews from around America, including about two dozen gas workers from our sister utility, SoCalGas.
The support was requested by Columbia Gas following a series of natural gas incidents last month that left more than 10,000 customers without service. Most residents in Massachusetts rely on natural gas to heat their homes in the winter.
As part of a well-established mutual aid system, utilities impacted by a major event can increase the size of their workforce by “borrowing” restoration workers from other companies in unaffected areas. Companies often turn to other utilities in time of need – and SDG&E’s personnel stand ready to help.