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Employee Spotlight Safety & Reliability October 25, 2023

The PUD’s First Responders

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The PUD’s First Responders

It’s late at night and dark and stormy outside, but for Mike Black it’s time to head out the door and get to work.

As a PUD Serviceman, Mike is part of our front-line defense in the battle against outages. Anytime of the day or night, Mike or any of our 15 PUD Servicemen, take emergency calls, jump in their service trucks and drive toward trouble.

“That’s the best part of the job: seeing everyone’s lights come back on”

At times, Mike, who lives in Lake Stevens, is the first person on the scene. He often works with police and fire to secure a scene, helps cut power to make a potentially dangerous situation safe and assesses damage to alert crews.

During storm season, typically November through March, our Servicemen are very busy. Stormy weather can cause branches to fall into wires and trees to knock over poles, causing widespread outages. Just like our Line Crews, our Servicemen work around the clock during storms to restore power.

Mike’s Service truck is outfitted with an iPad loaded with maps of our entire system to identify where outages are and where issues might be. Once he pinpoints a problem, Mike then patrols the lines to inspect if there’s damage. If he can, he’ll fix it; if not, he can call in a Line crew.

One of his main tools to restore power quickly is to close fuses and switch power around an outage to isolate it. This can quickly restore thousands of customers before any damage is fixed and get the lights and heat on for thousands of homes.

“That’s the best part of the job: seeing everyone’s lights come back on,” said Mike.